Ivo Ribeiro Nunes

Gameplan for Growth review

BHA coach reflects on the growth of the women’s pro game

As we come to the end of season four in The FA’s Gameplan for Growth, we spoke to Ivo Ribeiro Nunes, Women's & Girls' Lead Strength and Conditioning Coach at Brighton & Hove Albion, to discuss the women’s professional game and how it’s changed and developed right here in Sussex during that time…

“I first started in my role as the Women’s and Girls’ Lead Strength and Conditioning Coach at Brighton & Hove Albion five years ago. Previously, I worked at Millwall Lionesses and from then on, always knew I had a passion for working in the women’s game.

Within the last three years, the women and girls’ game has progressed significantly especially when it comes to the professional league. Within my experience, the growth of the game has meant the competition has developed amongst the league and players meaning we have had to work harder to prepare the players both mentally and physically to keep up with the growing standard of the women’s game.

The competition has risen, there are more league games, bigger stadiums and the atmosphere and surroundings have changed. With the growth, our performance approach has had to adapt with the increasing demand and we now ensure the players’ strengths and weaknesses are worked on daily when it comes to preparation. It’s important to prepare for the specific games in ways which will bring the best out of the player, so we work closely with each individual to structure their workouts and training to best suit them. It’s certainly meant more work on their fitness and robustness, especially when transitioning to a full-time program, however it’s been a great challenge as a Strength and Conditioning Coach.

As a club, we have meetings with The FA’s High Performance Team every three months. The meetings mainly consist of us reviewing our performance support impact which is usually a collaborative discussion where both The FA and the club update on the latest plans. The FA High Performance Team then discuss and support us on our approach to ensure we are aligning on the performance strategy from both a domestic and international level. Both teams aim to grow the game and the players so it’s important to have a clear approach and collaboration across both areas.

The collaboration allows us to ensure we are always improving not just the players but also the staff. The FA also invest their time and resources in club practitioners to ensure the FA WSL performance support is always developing at a professional standard. Ryan King and the team were great in mentoring me through my UKSCA [The United Kingdom Strength and Conditioning Association] accreditation which was a huge help to me and allowed me to progress in my role. The support I received from The FA highlights the strong relationships between country and club and demonstrates their investment to ensure the best set up is provided for the players.

It’s an exciting time to be a Strength and Conditioning coach in the Barclays FA WSL with the game growing so quickly over the past three years. I’m certainly looking forward to seeing how the league will continue to grow in the future.”

For further information about Women’s football in Sussex please contact Development:

T: 01903 766855
E: Development@SussexFA.com

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