David Wagner has pinpointed the individual who has played a massive role in putting Huddersfield Town ahead of schedule in pre-season training.
While the head coach has a degree himself in Biology and Sports Science and enjoys input to the training programme throughout the campaign, he credits the work of Dr John Iga for ensuring the players are at a high level so early in preparation for the Premier League campaign.
The 37-year-old became Town’s Head of Performance Services 15 months ago, making him head of the sports science and medical departments throughout PPG Canalside.
“It looks like all the players have followed our programme and everybody is in very good shape, so John Iga is very happy,” said Wagner ahead of tonight’s first pre-season match at Accrington Stanley (7pm).
“We are now able to start from a much higher point into our pre-season and this makes me very happy as well.
“At the beginning of pre-season you have to find a balance between conditioning work, endurance work and tactical work, which you like to refresh – because it is new for some of them (the new signings).
“If you start from a high point in endurance then you don’t have to invest so much in it and it leaves us a lot more time to speak on the tactical side.”
Town did two days of testing before returning to PPG Canalside and Wagner says the results were all good.
“Yes, I have a degree, but I have John (Iga) on my side who is a much better expert,” explained Wagner on htafc.com.
“He is head of performance and I follow his advice.”
Dr Iga was Head of Sports Science at the Football Association for four years.
In that role he worked on all aspects of Sports Science and Performance Nutrition with every national team, as well as working specifically with the Under 21 group on match days.
Iga, who has a PhD in Exercise Physiology, joined the Football Association from Wolves, where he was Head of Academy Science and Medicine and led the Club’s Sport Science activity across all levels.
At Molineux he helped the club develop the first BASES-accredited Sports Science laboratory in professional sport in the UK.
Wagner intends to give his senior squad 45 minutes each at Accrington before Sunday’s second run-out at Bury (3pm).
Town then fly out to SV Sandhausen for another match on Tuesday (4pm our time) before tackling Championship Barnsley at Oakwell on Saturday, July 22.
Wagner’s squad travel to Austria for a week-long training camp on Saturday, July 29, and will play two matches against Stuttgart and Torino while they are there.
It then leaves them a clear week before the first Premier League match at Crystal Palace on Saturday, August 12.