Our guest on Episode #50 of the Training Ground Guru Podcast, in association with Hudl, is Des Ryan.

Des is Director of Coaching and Performance at Setanta College and was Head of Sports Medicine and Athletic Development at Arsenal Academy from 2013 to 2021.

Listen in through the embedded link below and click here to listen to past episodes.

Show notes: 

02:01: Darcy Norman praise. Always being an outsider. How move to Arsenal came about.

07:24: Differences between athletic development in football and rugby union.

09:41: Strong doesn't mean big. Lots of misconceptions about strength and conditioning work in football.

13:02: Skepticism/ hesitancy about gym work when he arrived at Arsenal. In vast majority of cases the training age was low.

18:30: What athletic development looks like through the different ages in the Academy.

21:15: No truth in 'old wive's tale' that weights can hamper growth.

24:15: Strong Young Gunners philosophy at Arsenal. Four pillars. Creating the most challenging and caring environment for development in the world.

28:06: Arriving in England and finding that players went home at 2pm. That changed so they were working full days.

29:37: Letter from Hector Bellerin to himself, now on the wall at the Academy.

31:31: Publishing 'The Arsenal Way of Physically Developing Players.' Arrow. Speed training. Different to straight line track sprinting. Arsenal have a tradition of producing athletic players.

38:17: Bukayo Saka. 'He was a very good example of Arsenal development'

42:57: Work with Setanta College.

45:40: Looking ahead to presenting at TGG's Youth Development Webinar on June 6th.