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Introducing...Dean Kenneally

Posted on 8 October 2004  - 12:00

Tottenham Hotspur (Spurs) Football Club is located in North London. The club is also known as Spurs. Tottenham's home ground is White Hart Lane. The club motto is Audere est Facere (To dare is to do).

In a new series, we'll introduce you to the new members of our medical team here at Spurs - first up, physio Dean Kenneally...

Name: Dean Kenneally
Age: 37

What is your background both within your profession and sport?
I've had 15 years in sports medicine, been involved in three Olympic teams. I'm originally out of Australia and the Australian Institute for Sport, practised with Athletics Australia for seven years before being brought to UK by British Athletics. I was with the British team in Athens. Other sports include Australian Rules football, I had three or four years there, basketball in the National League and I also worked with the Victoria and Australian gymnastics teams.

You've covered a wide variety of sports.
Yes. Obviously not football but at the end of the day it's the sporting body, the human being that you are dealing with.

What are the differences between Olympic athletes and footballers? Are there any?
In terms of their abilities, track and field have different specialties and
footballers are skilled in other areas. The biggest difference is that one is an individual sport and this is a team sport. Every athlete is accountable for themselves whereas here everyone is accountable for themselves but within a team situation where the captain of the ship is the manager.

How do you see your role at Spurs?
In the same way the new management team and players will always take a while to gel, it also takes time for this to gel. I've only been at the club for a week, Alex Court the same, Geoff Scott has been holding everything together and Charlotte (Dr Charlotte Cowie), who is on maternity leave, has been trying to drive it all as well. It will take a little time to sort all that out. We will all sit down with the management team and see what they want, how exactly they want us to bring a player back from injury. Do they want them out training with the team straight away as quick as we can? Do they want us to hold them back until they are fully fit? These are the things we need to work out so we can get a nice working relationship going.

The medical field seems to be growing more and more important within the game.
The game is faster, the players are fitter, and there is more money in the sport. Listening to players’ comments the perception in the past is that the guys were all overpaid, out on the town and just turn up and play football. They now talk about the influx of foreign players who all really look after themselves and the British lads have to do the same.

In all your years at the Australian Institute for Sport did you envisage that you would end up with the GB athletics team and now Tottenham Hotspur?
No. It's one of those things that just rolls along, you take opportunities and I've been lucky enough to have the chance to try and make an impact.

Did you get a bit of stick back home for joining the Pommies?
Not at all. People know about the Premiership, it's one of, if not the biggest competition in the world and it's certainly followed closely in Australia. We're starting to get a few Australians in the game and the doctor at Fulham was at Richmond Football Club in Melbourne.

We can't let you go without talking about the Athens Olympics. That must have been a fantastic experience.
It is massive highs and massive lows condensed into a week or 10 days. It's long hours and you put your heart and soul into it but it's a great experience and just to be involved in such a big, multi-sports event there is nothing better. Maybe the World Cup?