Image: Tom (2nd from left) and Dayne (3rd from left) posing with the AFCB team

AFC Bournemouth took to the pitch at Goldsands Stadium to play Spanish giants Real Madrid on 21 July. The visitors won and put on an excellent show, winning 6-0 during the friendly. Despite the defeat, manager Howe delighted in the occasion that epitomises the remarkable turnaround in Bournemouth’s fortunes.

Less than five years ago, the Cherries were hit with the looming prospect of non-league football. Now, the club is preparing to compete in the championship which is an achievement not only down to management and hard work by the players, but is also due to the care the team receives behind the scenes. A portion of the team’s assessment and treatment comes from local Chiropractic College the AECC.

The AECC has a long-standing relationship with AFC Bournemouth, but when final year students Tom Faulkner and Dayne Ferrar took an interest in working with the club, it helped the college to cement the relationship. The interest and commitment shown by the pair led to the students treating the team onsite regularly, for the first time, and allowed them to work with several players on an assessment level, testing strength and identifying potential issues that could affect play.

The relationship continued to strengthen and resulted in Tom and Dayne assessing and treating the whole of the first team. From this the pair, both training for their MSc in Chiropractic, introduced injury prevention and strengthening, and now also provide a full season screening programme.

Tom commented: “It is a team effort to keep the players at their peak fitness and it has been a fantastic experience to work with everyone involved. It is important for us at the AECC to build local links, and many of the students here have a particular interest in sports and go on to specialise in sports treatments. The college has a proven track record meaning that local sports clubs and the community in general can benefit from having a world leading health care facility on their doorstep.”

The AECC Clinic is open to the public Monday–Saturday. For more information visit www.aecc.ac.uk

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