Our Head of Education Helen Smithson caught up with Jamie Hesketh to find out how his role is going at Bury FC.
Interviewing Jamie Hesketh is like talking to an Exocet missile; with a speed of Mach 0.92 (or 1,134 Kilometres per hour) this is the best way I can describe how quickly he speaks, and moves for that matter!
Everything is full on with Jamie as the club’s Youth team Fitness Coach and Sport Scientist, he knows where he wants to be and where the Youth and Academy players should be fitness wise, and wants it all yesterday. Our interview lasted no more than 10 minutes but, in that time, I think I know all there is to know about Jamie Hesketh, and his hair, of which he is inordinately precious!
Jamie was born in Moston, lives in Oldham and is 24 years old. He came into his role at Bury FC, firstly as a final year BSc (Hons.) Sport Science student from Liverpool John Moore’s University. His 12 weeks placement was with the first team as an analyst and once he had impressed the gaffer, his future was secured at the Club.
He is passionate, almost fanatical, about nutrition and believes this is so important for all our professional and academy players. He talks about being less than 8% or 9% body fat and about staying lean (I felt very unfit and overweight at this point) and about the fuel from food needed for training, for games and for recovery and injury. He provides individual food diaries for players and parents and, he believes, there is a great deal of education needed so that players can take responsibility for what and how they eat.
Jamie described his working day without pausing for breath. Meetings take place first thing every day with the Youth staff to discuss any injured players, who is fit and so training, which players will be training that day with the first team and what training Head Coach Ryan Kidd will be undertaking for improvements and the forthcoming Saturday match.
Depending on what is agreed Jamie will prepare warm ups and will include agility exercises and individual player work. Jamie also works with individual players on their areas for improvement such as reaction time and footwork. He analyses all player performances, prepares their individual strength and conditioning plans and monitors their improvements.
Jamie has been with the Club for 3 years and so, when asked what he enjoys the most about working at the Club, he very candidly says that he loves helping the players achieve in football what he couldn’t do; “I was born with two left feet” he says. However, when I have watched him take part, he looks pretty good to me!
Jamie admires his colleagues and talks about the great relationship he has with them, how well they communicate and solve problems together. They talk about individual players all the time, who needs an arm around them and who needs a strong word; he stresses how important it is to get to know players and to work with their strengths and weaknesses.
Jamie just loves football, he thinks he is sad for saying this but he constantly watches football; Danny Mayor is his favourite player as he believes he is good to watch, is highly technical as well as getting the fans going. He is excited by the arrival of James Vaughan and looks forward to his performances making a difference.
Jamie loves family holidays and the sun. His personal ambitions are driven by wanting to acquire further knowledge of elite level football and, by the time he is 26, he wants to have completed his UKSCA, an accredited strength and conditioning qualification and to have found the time to start his Masters degree.
His hopes for Bury FC are that they gain promotion to the Championship and that, with the current squad, he thinks this is very achievable. And so say all of us!
The Pilgrim (Helen Smithson)