In the ever-adapting game of football, there always needs to be a plan. An idea which separates you from the others and keeps you at the front of the chasing pack. Whether it be through nutritional methods, unique yoga exercises or revolutionary training practices, clubs are always looking for the extra advantage.
Edinburgh City FC is well and truly a club that aims to change the game. With the guidance of sports science expert, Rob Hart, the capital club are one of very few lower-league sides taking this risky but potentially rewarding approach.
"During my time studying Sport and Exercise Science at Edinburgh Napier University, I came across academic research, and in this case Sport Science research that has led to many discoveries on best practises when it comes to developing athletes and coaches based on their needs through sport & healthy lifestyles," Hart told Youth Football Scotland.
"It is important to understand these physiological and psychological principles together with the correlation between sport and healthy living.
"There is certainly a need for further support, through sport science programmes at clubs like Edinburgh City FC for their participants, coaches and parents on nurturing healthy lifestyles."
Hart’s career at Edinburgh City began when he coached the club’s 2005 group. It was during that period when he decided that a different approach to the game was required. Since then, Hart has been planning and developing the programmes to be put into practice with youth sides, one of them being the under-20s Lowland Development league team, who he also happens to be manager of.
City’s sports science will reap great rewards for coaches and players alike. With the sessions containing enjoyable, unique and educating methods of training. The players will see their self-esteem soar and their style of play develop into a free-flowing and enterprising standard.
Not only will they play well, but they will feel good, as chances of strains will be minimilised and recovery times reduced, thanks to a structured dieting plan, which in turn will lead to a healthy lifestyle.
Coaches should not feel left out, as they will collaborate with Edinburgh Napier University students, sharing their knowledge, ideas and experience in order to improve one another.
So what does the promising future hold in store for Edinburgh City FC, it’s players and coaches?
"All players at Edinburgh City FC will have the opportunity to develop in a player centred pathway, built on the needs and demands of those individuals. This will allow them to develop both physically and psychologically through football," Hart said.
"It is also our aim to develop our coaching environment as this will improve knowledge and understanding of best practices, in turn improving everyone’s experiences. We also aim to create better coaching standards, improve players’ health and fitness levels and create well-rounded footballers within the club.
"This in itself will encourage all at the club to continue their participation from fun fours, soccer sevens and 11-a-side to the first team."
It appears that the club from Meadowbank are on the verge of something special, and not by chance, but by taking this unique approach and setting themselves aside from the others.