Getting To Know You: Simon Vardy - Player Performance Manager
In the latest Getting To Know You, Player Performance Manager Simon Vardy talks about his role with the club, how he got involved and his best memories.
Role at the club and what it entails:
My role is Player Performance Manager. This entails managing all the support staff, including physio and sports massage, as well as leading on and off field, and game day strength and conditioning for the players to ensure the players are physically prepped for the sport.
So everything from planning the pre-season with Tubbs, in-season periodized S&C and recovery, to working with Mick on rehabbing and returning injured players back to the field.
When did you become involved:
I actually first got involved back in 2014 I think it was, when the Eagles partnered up with The University of Sheffield for training facilities. I knew Nick Ward and he brought me in to work with the Scholarship kids. That was back when Blake Broadbent was in that squad! I also did some work with the Academy as well which would be the first time I met Paddy and Greg Burns, and Ryan too. Sometimes I would jump in and help Nick out with the first team, covering once or twice when he was away too.
It was 2018 when I started working with the seniors. It was August 2017 and I'd just got back into work from visiting family in Canada and Tubbs came and sat in my office and offered me the job. The next thing I know it's November and we're in for pre-season!
Favourite memory from the role:
It's a cliché and almost everyone will be saying it but it has to be the 1895 Cup Final win at Wembley. Nothing can quite match that weekend. I just had that feeling from the very start of the trip down that we were going to do it. The players were so well prepped.
We worked hard all day in the build up to get the guys ready and they went out and smashed it. Never in doubt. The atmosphere and the whole experience was something quite extraordinary and I'm sure something that we'll all never forget.
Job outside of Rugby League:
Outside rugby league I'm the Performance Sport Development Officer at The University of Sheffield. It's basically the same job as with the Eagles to a degree. I manage all of the performance support from a club level to our Elite Sports Performance Scheme (ESPS) and work on bringing in support, partnerships and recruitment.
Plus I lead on all the S&C training and delivery, particularly for our ESPS guys who are all GB athletes or similar levels in loads of different sports. Very similar in so many ways but also very different to working with the Eagles. Much more one to one individual work and a very different type of person, an interesting contrast.
If you could trust one Eagles player with your role, who would it be and why:
There's actually a few to be fair in many respects. There's a few more senior members of the group that have the experience and some of the younger guys with the enthusiasm.
If I had to name one I'd probably have to go with Rob Worrincy. He's got the background knowledge, the experience and the work ethic for it so he'd definitely do a good job.