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Sports Science Staff

Paul Balsom
Head of Sports Science and Performance Analysis

Paul is responsible for the development and enhancement of the sports science and performance analysis support offered to the first team professional players and coaching staff at the club.

Using an integrated proactive approach to the scientific management of player development, the aim is to improve individual and team performance. Paul graduated with a PhD in Exercise Physiology from the Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, in 1995.

He also currently works for the Swedish National Team where he is responsible for sports science and performance analysis support.

Paul joined Leicester in 2008 and is enjoying his second spell with the Foxes having re-joined the Club in December 2011.

Matt Reeves
First Team Sports Scientist

Matt is responsible for the implementation of effective sports science services at the football club.

His main objectives surround reducing injury occurrence, whilst improving physical preparation, athletic development and overall performance.

Every training session, the first team squad are monitored using the Catapult GPS and Polar Team 2 Heart rate systems.

Working closely with the coaching staff on a daily basis, Matt is in charge of setting specific training targets in order to prepare players for demands of the game.

Additionally, long term strategies are put in place to maintain fitness whilst ensuring adequate recovery during a hectic fixture schedule.

His belief is that transparency of such information is key in helping to create a hardworking culture whereby the players set high standards for both themselves and their teammates.

With this said, he creates innovative methods of feedback that aim to capture attention, communicate on an appropriate level and in turn promote discussion.

As a Sport and Exercise Science graduate from Loughborough University, Matt started his career as an intern in League One, and became a fulltime member of Nigel’s support team upon the club gaining promotion to the Championship.

The start of the 2010/11 season then signaled the start of a 17 month spell at Hull City before returning to Leicester in December 2011.

Andrea Azzalin
First Team Science & Conditioning Coach

Andrea Azzalin joined Leicester City manager Claudio Ranieri’s coaching team in 2012 having spent over four years studying at university. 

Azzalin started his career in football coaching at Italian side A.S. Varese 1910 in 2009, spending three years at the club while completing a four-year PhD in Exercise Physiology at the University of Verona. 

While still studying at university, Azzalin linked up with Ranieri for the first time in 2012 and spent two years at A.S. Monaco before moving to Greece’s national side with Ranieri’s staff in 2014. 

Italian-born Azzalin joined Leicester City in July 2015 alongside manager Ranieri and assistant manager Paolo Benetti. 

Tom Joel
First Team Sports Scientist

As the Under 21 Sport Scientist at the club, Tom’s main objectives are to enhance individual and team physical performance of the development squad.

Players are monitored on a daily basis with Tom providing detailed training and matchday feedback to staff and players. As part of the academy, the U21’s are governed by EPPP guidelines and the players are regularly put through a battery of physiological tests.

One challenging aspect of Tom’s role comes in bridging the gap between the academy and 1st team to ensure that U21 players are able to step into the 1st team set up.

His skill set has been broadened whilst assisting physiological development sessions with younger age groups. A recent graduate of Loughborough University, Tom completed a year’s internship with the club in the 2011-2012 season, whilst continuing to provide support as he completed his studies in the 2012-2013 season.

Mitch Willis
Strength & Power Coach

Mitchell is responsible for the implementation of the Strength and Conditioning Programme with all professional players at the Football Club.

His main objective is to optimise the performance enhancement of the first-team and Under-21s Squad, developing strength, speed and power qualities of each individual player.

His other primary role is to focus on injury prevention and reducing the frequency of soft tissue injuries. The nature of the Strength and Conditioning Programme places particular emphasis on the transfer of gym based improvements into training and match situation performance tasks.

Of particular interest to Mitch are correlations between the development of lower limb strength and player speed/power

 Additionally, he works closely alongside the physiotherapists in the rehab and return to play process of injured players. A former Leicester Tigers Strength and Conditioning Coach, Mitch graduated from Liverpool John Moores University in 2009 with a degree in Sports Science.

Christopher Rosimus
Performance Nutritionist

Chris is responsible for the planning and delivery of diet and nutrition for Leicester City’s first-team players.

Currently also working the English Institute of Sport as a Performance Nutritionist, a National Lead Performance Nutritionist with the England Cricket Team and England Squash Team and a Lecturer in Sports Nutrition at Manchester Metropolitan University, Chris has a wealth of experience behind him in his field.

He has worked at both Nottingham Forest as a first-team Performance Nutritionist and Manchester United Soccer Schools as a Nutritionist and Football Coach.

Studying as an Undergraduate at Manchester Metropolitan University and a Postgraduate at Sheffield Hallam University, Chris is qualified with an MSC in Sports and Exercise Nutrition, BSC in Human Nutrition, IOC Diploma in Sports Nutrition, FA Level 2 Football Coach and is a registered Sports and Exercise Nutritionist (rSEN).

Ken Way
Performance Psychologist

Ken focuses on the ‘mental game’ for all first team and U21 players - working on aspects like confidence, focus, belief, concentration, mental toughness and resilience.

He has also worked with Nigel Pearson at Southampton and Hull City. His experience includes working with three international teams as well as UK, Commonwealth and World Champions in different sports.

His main qualifications (gained at three universities) are in psychology and psychotherapy and he was recently invited to lecture to Harvard University head coaches. Ken is also the author of a Sports Psychology book entitled ‘Mental Mastery’ (published in January 2011).