A bit of a strange story from Australia this morning as it’s been announced that the club’s Head of High Performance, Darren Burgess, is to join Southern Expansion as ‘a special High Performance Advisor upon the club being granted a new A-League licence’.
A press release has outlined the appointment, saying:
Renowned Australian sports scientist, Darren Burgess, Director of High Performance at Arsenal FC in the English Premier League (EPL), will be joining Southern Expansion as a special High Performance Advisor upon the Club being granted a new A-League licence, it was announced today.
Mr Burgess has been at Arsenal since June 2017. He previously held key technical positions at Port Adelaide AFL Club, and Liverpool FC, where he was Head of Fitness and Conditioning. Mr Burgess was also was Head of Fitness for the Socceroos team, in the run-up to the 2010 World Cup, in South Africa.
Southern CEO Chris Gardiner said Mr Burgess will join Southern as an external High Performance Technical Advisor, from his in-house role at Arsenal, working closely with Southern’s Head of Football Craig Foster.
“Darren has worked at some of the biggest Clubs in both football and AFL and to have him joining Southern is a coup and it further strengthens the solid coaching and operational framework our Club already has in place,” Mr Gardiner said today.
“Working with Craig, his main priority will be to develop a high-performance structure for the Club, providing support and advice for our coaches and technical staff on training routines; technical analysis; and injury prevention and recovery, with the aim of giving our players the best chance of achieving their best performances.
“Given his wealth of experience in both Australia and the UK, Darren will mentor and train our coaches and allow us to leverage his international networks and tap-in to the very latest, cutting-edge sports science research.”
So, it sounds like he’ll be working on this from London and will continue in his role with Arsenal for the time-being.
Burgess will continue in his role with the north London English Premier League giants, but will provide input from afar should Southern Expansion win the right to be Sydney’s third club.
Whether it conflicts in any way with the work he’s doing for us is hard to say. Perhaps he’s the man to put structures in place, then allow others to deal with them on a day to day basis, but it’s hard to imagine that Arsenal would sanction anything that would impact on the job he has to do for us.
And contrary to other reports, he is not leaving Arsenal.