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Mike Phelan and Dave Horrocks of the Sensible Soccer team were back on the road yesterday delivering a masterclass at Burnley College.
The day consisted of a coaching session with the college’s academy players followed by an academic/theoretical lecture to the colleges’ BTEC, A-Level and Sports Degree students.
Horrocks shared his PhD research and associated publications on the successful 25 years culture and serial winning nature of the Manchester United machine including an insightful case study on Gary Neville and Phelan added priceless lived insight from a practical perspective on a life inside Manchester United.
To add further insight and cutting edge to the day Phelan, a known advocate of sports science and technology also brought with him the latest player performance and analysis tool in the world of elite football in the form of www.rezzil.com.
Students and staff were also treated to a Q and A which became all the more interesting following the breaking news of Jose Mourinho’s departure.
The first question from the floor was the inevitable
‘So if Manchester United called you today would you go back’
‘Well I’m not going to say no’ was Phelan’s instant response.
Further questions revealed how the club embraces a coaching culture of positivity including a persistent passion and drive for a cutting edge, and acknowledgement was made to Tony Strudwick and Sir Alex Ferguson for being the driver and sanctioned blessing of such relentless progress.
How Ryan Giggs was the one player who at instant first sight impressed Phelan when he first set eyes on him and how the relentless dedication and drive of Gary Neville is the epitome of what it means to play for Manchester United Football Club.
The in game tactical decisions of the successful champions league final in Moscow 2018 were revealed along with the ever-persistent conundrum Barcelona and Lionel Messi posed in the Man U v Barcelona halcyon days.
The students and staff were also treated to invaluable insight on the signing, the development of and the ultimate insatiable performance of Cristiano Ronaldo, along with the one-time challenge of coaching a forward line of Ronaldo, Tevez and Rooney.
All in all a fantastic day for everyone involved both academically and practically in the theoretical and real worlds of top end elite level sports performance.