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Rolls: There’s a Change Happening and They Want to Get on the Bus Early
Friday, 11th Jun 2021 18:38

New director of performance Andy Rolls has been explaining his role at the club and outlining what the players can expect from pre-season training, which starts on Saturday 26th June.

TWTD revealed that Rolls was set to join the Blues after he left Bristol City in April having previously been on the staff at Arsenal, West Ham and Watford, where he worked with new Town CEO Mark Ashton, as he did with the Robins. Having been away on holiday, he is now starting his position at Playford Road in earnest.

“The job title is director of performance that gives everyone a lot of ammunition to throw everything at me because the coach turning up late, that can affect performance, the food can affect performance, everything,” he told iFollow Ipswich.

“It’s a big topic. Initially, I’m concentrating on the medical team and the sports science team.

“I’ve brought in a lot of new people, I know a lot of them have been [announced] but we’re trying to really put a lot of effort and strength into that department.

“We’ve got a new head of sports science in Andy Costin, we’ve got a new first-team fitness coach in Ash [Jon Ashton], we have got a new head of strength and conditioning called Ivan, who hasn’t started yet.

“So we’re trying to put a lot of energy [into that] and the club are supporting us really hard in that to try and upgrade that system.

“[Physio] Matt Byard and his medical team have done brilliantly over the last year, especially with Covid, but I think he needs some support and help, he can’t be expected to do everything that he’s always done. So we’re trying to support that whole structure.”

Rolls says Covid has been a challenge for all clubs and that injuries were more commonplace during 2020/21 across football with players having had a longer than usual break during the first lockdown before returning to action.

“At the end of the day we need good players and we need to keep them as fit as we can, we need to keep them on the pitch,” he continued.

“That’s been really difficult, not just Ipswich but myself at Bristol City and other football clubs.

“[We were] seeing Liverpool, the biggest club in the country, having problems along those lines, so if they’re going to have to accept that football’s been different over the last two years.

“Perhaps as performance teams at different clubs we haven’t adapted to Covid very quickly and we have tried to do things we’ve always done, so I think we need to adapt now to coming out of Covid, being a bit more aggressive with the gym and the rehab work and fitness work to try and decrease the injuries and get us as fit as we possibly can.”

Town’s pre-season programme is not too far off starting, although with some players already having returned to the club.

“We’ve got the rest of this week and another week resting,” he said. “Some players have been in this week, players that we’ve highlighted that need special work, some extra work and their attitude to it has been brilliant.

“Often when you bring people in in the middle of their holiday it doesn’t got down well but I’ve got to say the lads who have been in this week have worked their socks off, they’ve been top drawer.

“The next week’s a down week, a lot of staff are in to get organised and whatever, then the week after there are some optional sessions for certain players, and players are already signing up for them because I think they know there’s a change happening and they want to get on the bus early.

“And then we start on Saturday 26th, that’s the first official day of training. We do two days training, one day off for the first two weeks and then we get into the match prep and then things change.

“Initially it will be roughly three sessions a day. There’ll be a pre-breakfast session which will be about stability, mobility, getting stronger, getting the bodies back used to the work they’re doing because they have had a bit of time off.

“Then there’ll be breakfast, then there will be the main football session, the fitness session, which will be football based with top-up runs at the end.

“Then there’ll be lunch and a downtime period, and then in the afternoon there will be different gym sessions for different specific things. There’ll be a lot of isometric and isotonic gym sessions and that’s basically the outline of the day.”

Photo: ITFC

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Edmundo added 18:43 - Jun 11
He knows his gravy. Sounds like the bad old days of constant (and repetitive) injuries are over.

therein61 added 18:53 - Jun 11
All looking good Mr Rolls let's hope at long last we can say goodbye to the regular training ground injuries that have hampered our club for far too long now it has been obvious that something has been very very wrong at Playford Road in the recent few seasons.

ghostofescobar added 18:54 - Jun 11
Compare this with the Evans era. Makes you realise how far Evans ran the club into the dirt and let us unravel. An incompetent fool with zero idea how to run a football club.

jollyroger added 19:17 - Jun 11
Would love to know which players are already back training at p r , and as rolls say getting on the bus early , sounds like training will be much harder

Ebantiass added 19:28 - Jun 11
The entire ethos of the club seems to be changing for the better. You dont want to be here,fight for the club and your team mates then theres the door.

Seems like the attitude might be changing for the better. We wont walk the league but we should at the very least compete with every team in this league.

Im always positive when the season is about to start,but this really feels good.

Hope the early momentum in the league starts positive and this good vibe continues

billys_boots added 20:06 - Jun 11
I’m sure he knows his stuff but don’t get too excited yet. It doesn’t sound much different from what would have been happening previously. Isometric and isotonic sessions in the gym could just be squats and the plank.

PinstripeBlue added 21:13 - Jun 11
Nothing has changed yet, we need to start winning. All the new appointments and restructuring is great. But where are the players?
The Cooky monster hasn’t done anything yet. Apart from slate the players, who we all thought were great and Lambert was the problem. Remember that?
What is our starting 11 right now? Just 8 weeks from the start of the promotion season.

markchips added 21:16 - Jun 11
Very positive interview from a proven professional. I wonder if one of the ones needing extra sessions is bishop?

ArnieM added 22:00 - Jun 11
At last ...... a scientific, evidenced based approach to strengthening & conditioning which is sport specific 👍

gosblue added 22:17 - Jun 11
I imagine it’s difficult to give players an off-season fitness program and nutrition plan when they’ve all been told to F off. Every credit to the guys who have stepped up early but morale must be at an all time low atm. I’m excited for the new season but I’m concerned about the American hire em fire em management style.

dukey44 added 22:20 - Jun 11
And to think last season players did not like the thought of 2 training sessions a day.. Haha got a feeling going to be a season we been waiting a long time for.. 👍

Skip73 added 22:45 - Jun 11
Pinstripe, it would've been so much better to keep it as it was wouldn't it, then we would know the starting 11.

istanblue added 00:13 - Jun 12
“We’ve got a new head of sports science in Andy Costin, we’ve got a new first-team fitness coach in Ash [Jon Ashton], we have got a new head of strength and conditioning called Ivan, who hasn’t started yet.''

Ivan!? Should we be worried?

Northstandveteran added 07:07 - Jun 12
Don't worry Istanblue.

Ivan inkling he's just the club's hairdresser.

davidsc1971 added 09:17 - Jun 12
Let's hope Ivan isn't Terrible.

I don't know if it's just me thinking that having essentially told the whole squad to foxtrot oscar we only have a handful of players, either new or who can't find other clubs? I'm sure this will come round in the next few weeks but these first sessions won't exactly be packed out

atty added 09:25 - Jun 12
All sounds very impressive and a big improvement in the set up. We now have a proper senior management tea- Chairman, CEO,COO etc. A bigger/better performance/medical/sports science resource and bigger funding. So now it’s down to Cook, his coaching team and the players to do the business. Some clearly are already onboard, which is great, considering the verbal battering they got from Cook. They’ve taken it on the chin and moved on, as should be all now.A brighter future beckons, it will be interesting to see how far it takes us.

Orraman added 11:13 - Jun 12
Things have certainly moved on a lot since I started watching football in the 1950’s. Then there was a manager and a trainer also known as the man with the magic sponge.
I felt quite queasy at the thought of doing all that work BEFORE breakfast. I don’t come alive until I’ve had my porridge

GiroJim added 11:36 - Jun 12
We havent got any players to train yet, if its right that all of our crop can leave. If they have to come back here is their heart going to be in it ?...Dont think so. So, in that case we have 2 players. Best hurry it up, or Cook can play his staff, and mates instead.

shenfieldblue added 11:38 - Jun 12
Will pre season be a 5 a side tournament.

IpswichT62OldBoy added 13:06 - Jun 12
We have shipped out the dead weight, those left will have to step up or they will be gone as well.
We need a squad of around 22 no more, we need to be fit and strong enough not to have 15+ players injured or recovering, that was a terrible situation.

PutneyBlue added 14:48 - Jun 12
Presumably they thought Dozzell wouldn't step up. Wouldn't call him deadweight - more like lightweight

ElephantintheRoom added 15:16 - Jun 12
More of a gravy train than a bus with this job lot of hangars on brought in from Bristol City and Wigan. The slightly odd thing about all this talk is that things only got really bad once Cook turned up. It's almost as though the new crew are the ones with something to prove as most of the team will be made up of disillusioned old lags. Any players with anything about them - Dozzel, Downes etc will be bought at knockdown prices which means a hotchpotch of disilusioned rejects and new guys have to be galvanised into a team in a few weeks with the full knowledge that the manager will blame them if and when it goes pear shaped. I wonder if the director of performance knows whether its three, four of five players that the man in the open neck shirt is trying to sign up.

PinstripeBlue added 17:10 - Jun 12
Skip73. Typical response on here to a statement. Make up an answer to something I didn’t say.
I said the new appointments and restructuring is great. I never said keep it as it is.
This is a great site, but, some people are not too clever on here.

bedsitfc added 22:13 - Jun 13
Cook has got to prove his worth!

So far all he has shown me is how to take an underperforming team and turn them into an embarrassment!

For me he has already used to many excuses so I don’t want to hear anymore from him as he has been given more backing (owners) than ANY Ipswich manager in the past

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