Luke Bussey is a man on a mission – to make sure Fleetwood Town come back from the summer break fighting fit.
The physio joined Town earlier this year taking his first job as the head of a team, having previously worked as an assistant at Burnley and Bolton Wanderers.
And, in the midst of his first closed season at Highbury, the club’s head physiotherapist has plenty on his mind.
While the players enjoy a summer break Luke’s been hard at work running his expert eye over new arrivals – Liam Hogan, Matty Blair, Steven Schumacher and Jeff Hughes having all passed through his door.
“It’s a big responsibility,” he admits.
“You’ve got to make sure you make the right decisions.
“It’s all about probabilities.
“We probably do an hour’s work with every player and another half hour out on the pitch.
“These players represent a big investment and for both their sakes and for the club we have to get things right.
“I’ve been doing this work before but this is the first time it’s been my signature on the final report.”
For the players it’s not all fun and games over the summer, with the squad under strict instructions to keep themselves in shape.
Bussey said: “It’s a big deal when you’re talking about modern day athletes.
“Gone are the days when players used to turn up from a summer break two stone overweight.
“We’re not telling them to go away and push themselves.
“They need that rest as much as anything but we want them coming back in good shape so we can start work straight away fine tuning.”
Bussey worked with Fleetwood boss Graham Alexander at Turf Moor , something he believes helps the Fleetwood manager.
He said: “He needs to know the players are going to be looked after.
“He knows how I work, my methods, and it helps that trust between us.”
And Bussey believes he couldn’t have picked a better club to step up from assistant to chief.
“I couldn’t say yes fast enough, “he admits.
“It’s been fantastic. I’ve enjoyed every minute.
“I was ready to make the move up and to come to a club like Fleetwood, with the facilities we have, is the perfect place.”
And although fans will only see Luke on a matchday, there’s plenty of work behind the scenes.
“The matchday is just the icing on the cake,” he said.
“It’s what we all work towards but it’s just a small part of what we do.
“We’re working every day with the other medical personel and the players to keep as many as possible available and they are ready for games.
“Then there’s the players who have injuries, who take a lot of our time.
“There’s a lot goes on behind the scenes to be ready for that 90 minutes.”
n Fleetwood Town are still waiting to hear from Southend United over their bid for defender Ryan Cresswell, the Gazette understands.
Town put in a ‘significant offer’ for the centre half, who featured in the PFA’s League Two team of the season. United keen to hang on to the player who has also attracted interest from Chesterfield.