City players ‘wired up’ for medical experiment

From left, Ryan Doherty, Turlough Hendry and Luke McCloskey from the North West Regional College sports science department. (DER0714PG012)
From left, Ryan Doherty, Turlough Hendry and Luke McCloskey from the North West Regional College sports science department. (DER0714PG012)

DERRY City have taken another step towards professionalism having forged a new relationship with the North-West Regional College.

Indeed, prior to yesterday afternoon’s practise match against Finn Harps at the Vale Centre, Derry’s starting XI wore special monitors which recorded heartbeat and fatigue figures during the performance.

Conducting the experiment and monitoring the movement of the Derry players was Luke McCloskey, a lecturer in sport, and he was delighted to play his part in producing facts and figures for the local club.

“We have been monitoring the heart rates of the players representing Derry City during the game and, indeed, how hard each and every player has worked during the game,” he said.

“We are also hoping to invest in some GPS Units over the next few months, a facility which would record the ground covered by the individual players during any game,” added Mr. McCloskey.

“That equipment would inform us what speeds the Derry players were running at and, indeed, how far they actually ran during their time on the field of play.”

The new partnership will, obviously, produce benefits for each organisation with Derry’s medical and backroom team issued with the results while the Regional College students would also benefit when recording and analysing the results.

“From our points of view, the students would benefit greatly when being able to use the equipment and record their results when monitoring the performances of the athletes.

“And it would also benefit Derry City in that our results would give them a good picture of the strengths and weaknesses of players in terms of energy and fatigue etc.

“I think it’s a partnership that should continue to develop over the next few years as the benefits for both organisations could prove invaluable.”

“Live” analysis of

heartbeat and fatigue

During yesterday’s match those players in action during the opening half were analysed individually on their levels of fatigue with their heart rate also noted when in the thick of the action.

“We can record their heartbeat ‘live’ on our equipment on the side of the pitch and, hopefully, when all the equipment is available the results should prove to be useful for the club’s staff and medical team,” claimed Mr. McCloskey.

And while Roddy Collins was delighted to be part of the experiment he immediately dismissed suggestions that the new equipment could help him identify any players who were prepared to cheat on the park.

“I certainly won’t need the equipment to show me that,” he laughed. “I would prefer to monitor the players myself and I’ve been doing that since I arrived in Derry,” he said.