Holloway wants science to help youth

Sir Chris Hoy in action, (below) young Blackpool FC striker Tom Barkhuizen and (bottom) Victoria Pendleton.

Sir Chris Hoy in action, (below) young Blackpool FC striker Tom Barkhuizen and (bottom) Victoria Pendleton.

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IAN Holloway has booked a meeting with GB’s Olympic cycling superstars as he leaves no stone unturned in his quest to make Blackpool a better club.

As soon as the London Games finish, Holloway and his staff will meet the team behind Britain’s cycling success.

Blackpool's Tom Barkhuizen

Blackpool's Tom Barkhuizen

And he hopes the individuals that have been responsible for the success of the likes of Sir Chris Hoy and Victoria Pendleton, will be able to give the Seasiders a little extra advice in their quest to improve every area of the club.

“After the Olympics, I’ll be taking my science team to meet the Great Britain cyclist people,” said the boss.

“Science has helped people in athletics make huge advances and I want to tap into that.

“I think you’ve got to make your players athletes before they even get the ball.

Victoria Pendleton

Victoria Pendleton

“So I want to pick (the cycling team’s) knowledge and come up with a structure which actually works, to get our younger lads fitter, stronger and better, and be more ready to take the place of the first teamers that I have got at the moment.

“I think that’s the way it needs to be.

“Lots of clubs are further down the line than we are, particularly the ones who have been in the Premier League and have more money.

“But we are trying to make the best of it and I’m trying to make it so that anybody around the world can come to a football academy in Blackpool, and play a modern, passing game.

“I think that is the only way to do it and that is what we are trying to do.

“That’s what I believe in, that’s what I want to try and develop – and I’m even more convinced now after watching the Euros that is the way you’ve got to go.

“We might make mistakes along the way, we might be over-playing it at times. But I’d rather over-play than kick it along.”

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Holloway uses young striker Tom Barkhuizen as an example of why he is determined to use science and techniques from other sports to boost fitness.

“Tom did really well on loan at Hereford last year, so I rewarded him by taking him to Portugal last week with the first team squad,” the boss explained.

“But he has picked up a bit of an injury which just goes to show that his body can’t cope with what we are giving the more senior lads.

“So I’ve got to develop strategies that will get him through that, and that has got to be weight sessions geared around his football at the moment.

“That’s why I’m meeting the cycling team, because we can pick up tips from them.

“Someone like Tom shouldn’t be judged on his football at the moment, we should be working towards getting him ready to take the place of some of these other ones.

“So sometimes you take a little step back, keep him off the grass and work him in the gym.”

With Keith Millen in charge of the new academy, the pitches at Squires Gate in perfect nick, and a state-of-the-art gym available for use in the new hotel in the south stand, Holloway believes the club is making great strides in the right direction.

“Anybody who goes into a new building behind the Jimmy Armfield stands now, in the hotel, will see the facilities we are getting are as good as most,” added the boss.

“The club is progressing and that is the only way it should be.

“We have to develop players, and develop a way of playing and hope it is better than the teams we are playing against.

“And hopefully once we reach a certain standard, we will stay there at the top level, because that is the only way forward for me.

“We don’t want to move backwards. And we aren’t. I believe we are moving forwards, and at quite a good rate as well.

“I’ve got better structure off the pitch now. The staffing levels are better, the scouting set-up is better. I’m excited about the future.”

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