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Due to unforeseen circumstances, the Physiotherapist for St Mirren FC was unavailable for Friday’s game – I was asked to step in, and as I had a few hours before going to my next training session for Sports Therapy Scotland, I readily agreed.

The St Mirren lads appeared after a 2-hour journey from Glasgow to a sunny but incredibly windy St Andrews. The pitch was in perfect condition, players fit and keen to put their hard work during the week into practice.

I was looking forward to seeing how the lads would perform as we (St Mirren) were apparent favourites with Dundee United only winning one of their last seven games.
David Longwell, Head of Youth Development, gave an inspiring team talk on concentration and output, before going over some training drills so everyone understood their roles.

Half-time

Half time we were 1-0 the better. David and Frazer highlighted that the goal resulted from a move practised on the training ground the previous day’s training session. T

he lads listened attentively as they were warned about how their opponents would probably come out ‘all guns blazing’ in the 2nd half but to be sure to work hard and stay disciplined and to attempt the drills where possible.

After a very hard fought second half St Mirren was victorious 2-1. Again positive feedback from David and Frazer highlighted that even though they were under pressure, they communicated well, and ‘Dug –in’ at 1-1 which produced a winning goal in the last minute of play again from another training ground drill.

I was very impressed with the coaching styles of David Longwell and Frazer Robertson, the realistic goals set early on and the re-enforcement of good training ground principles and how they should be applied to game scenarios.

Well done to the players and coaching staff at St Mirren it was great to see under-19 football players enforcing good habits and how the application can be the difference between winning and losing in any sport.