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  • Writer's pictureSalil Das

Much more than just the football…my first season as Binfield FC’s physio.

Having been away from football for a few years I jumped at the chance of being given the opportunity to become the first team physio at Binfield. With the club playing at a decent  semi professional standard I was excited at the prospect that lay ahead. The season proved to be an absolute roller coaster both on and off the pitch but one that I thoroughly enjoyed. It also reminded me just how much football clubs, no matter how big or small, can provide a really positive platform away from purely just the playing of the game.

The season

The stats in black and white don’t even begin to tell half the story but from a footballing perspective it really was an amazing achievement to avoid the drop.

First 20 Games

4 draws

4 points

Goals For: 16

Goals Against: 80

Goal Difference: -64

League Table - First 20 Games

Last 20 Games

8 wins, 6 draws

30 points

Goals For: 28

Goals Against: 29

Goal Difference: -1

League Table - Last 20 Games

My role

Essentially the crux of my role is to look after the players, treat, rehabilitate, advise and provide a bit of support to enable them to perform to the maximum that they are capable whilst constantly communicating with the management team. Most players will play with some soreness and knocks and the skill is to manage these but not to the detriment of the player’s welfare. A gruelling 7 games in 14 days at the end of the season made our achievement all the more remarkable and certainly kept me busy! It was great to have the help of Becca, a sports therapy student looking to get experience, to lend a hand.

There’s great satisfaction seeing players successfully return from injury and there have been a couple of hefty ones this season. 

When things cut deeper than it being ‘just a game’

Sometimes life just throws things at you that make you sit back and contemplate many things. During one game our striker suffered a head injury after colliding with the metal surround on the pitch. This was tough enough to manage but with the incredible help and support of the opposition physio from Met Police we were able to get our player back to the changing room while we waited for the ambulance to arrive. During this moment his heart stopped and before long we were performing CPR, applying the defib and liaising with the medical team on the end of the phone until the paramedics arrived.

This story has a happy ending as our player came round just before the paramedics arrived and has made a quite remarkable full recovery, able to return for the final run in of the season and play a pivotal role within the team. He really is an inspirational young man and it was great to see him down at the club’s annual junior 5 a side tournament inspiring  young footballers to simply enjoy playing.

That day will never leave me and I will never forget the way that many people came together in a moment of crisis and acted with each other and for each other quickly and efficiently. The staff at Met Police FC will be held close in my heart forever as will all the people from Binfield who were involved in that moment. 

Creating a link with our youth section

Working with the first team has also enabled me to treat and help some of the younger players within the club. It’s great to be able to relay messages that are spread at the first team level to some of the younger players. Our manager and coaching team reinforce before every game how privileged we all are to be able to play or be involved in the game and there is a warming message of humility that runs throughout the club. Team sports are not for everybody but having been involved since childhood I think the opportunities and life skills that can be nurtured and transferred into our lives from a team environment is priceless. Whilst the game is important there really is so much more that our youngsters can gain from being involved. My own experiences have shown that lasting lifelong friendships can evolve way after the boots have been hung up. At a time where increasing isolation is rising and all the associated effects of this are being well documented, football clubs up and down the country can provide a real sense of belonging and community and I have certainly felt this on my active return into the game with Binfield.

Next season…

I can’t wait to continue providing the physio for the team next season. Combined with my private practice I feel extremely lucky to be able to earn a living doing something that I love and I eagerly await the challenges that may come my way next season, ever grateful to all at Binfield FC for allowing me to grow here and become part of the Binfield family.

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