Birmingham City manager Alex McLeish has been shaping his playing squad with the arrivals of midfielder Lee Carsley and strikers Kevin Phillips and Marcus Bent - but he has been equally busy filling vital positions in his backroom staff.
Tim Williamson has been appointed the club’s new head physiotherapist, Peter Shaw has been brought in as his assistant and sports scientist Benjamin Rosenblatt has also joined the team
Williamson joins Blues after six years as head physiotherapist at Celtic and has also worked for Tottenham Hotspur and Leeds United, while Shaw was formerly a physiotherapist in the Championshipp with Norwich City.
Williamson said: “There is a great opportunity here and I’m very excited. There’s a chance to get promotion and we’re all going to pull together with that aim.
“I had some great years at Celtic and it was a wonderful grounding, working at a club full of international players, but now I’m employed by Blues and I’m as determined as anyone else behind the scenes at the club to push for an immediate return to the Premier League.”
That is a sentiment echoed by 23-year-old former Arsenal apprentice Rosenblatt, who chose to come to Blues despite an opportunity to go to the Beijing Olympic Games next month with his former employers, the British Olympic Association.
He said: “I’m delighted to be here and am really looking forward to what everyone hopes is going to be a really successful season for Blues.”
McLeish believes these new appointments will be a crucial part of the effort in helping the first team achieve success.
“I wanted to bring in somebody that is the calibre and quality of former head physiotherapist Neil McDiarmid,” McLeish said. “Some people say that ‘a physio is just a physio,’ but that’s not the case. They need people skills, they need to get on with the players and the players also need to trust them because players confide in them as well.
“Of course, they also need to keep players fit and get them back to fitness as soon as possible. I would prefer players that turn up for their work every week without going on the treatment table.
“If they’re training every day and playing every week, the physios and fitness coaches will be doing their job.”