Skip to content
Men's Football player

Optimising Recovery in Elite Football Players: The Monitoring and Implementation Recovery Strategies for Performance and Injury Prevention Across Age-Groups and Genders

  • School: School of Science and Technology
  • Starting: 2023
  • Funding: UK student / Fully-funded


Recovery methods are commonly adopted in football to enhance performance and prevent injury incidence. However, there is a lack of consensus from applied practitioners, players and the scientific literature on the optimal type, frequency and combination of methods that should be implemented. In addition, as the demands of football training and match-play are known to differ between genders and across age groups, the optimal recovery methods are also likely to differ across these groups.

Many recovery methods are marketed and used by elite athletes, however well controlled studies conducted in elite populations that explore mechanistic outcomes (e.g. neuromuscular fatigue) are scarce. Elite sport is unique in terms of the intensity at which the sport is played and specific contextual factors such as athlete skill level, psychological pressure and playing environment (crowd, score line, etc.), which make it hard to replicate in laboratory-based studies and/or with non-elite participants.

The objective of the PhD will be as follows:

1, Identification and assessment of commonly used recovery methods in elite football across age groups and genders. This will involve the quantification and reporting of workload metrics (i.e. GPS) to assess seasonal group-based trends.

2, Investigate the impact of recovery methods on inflammatory and neuromuscular recovery from match-play, training and injury football players across age groups and genders.

3, Based on the findings of points 1,2, optimal recovery methods for footballers will be devised and implemented with their relative success monitored and analysed.

Entry qualifications

Applicants must have a 1st class or 2:1 degree in the field of sport/exercise sciences, physiology, or a related subject area. A MSc/MRes degree and experience in conducting applied research is desirable.

How to apply

Please visit our how to apply page for a step-by-step guide and make an application.

Application deadline: Friday 18 August 2023.

Interviews will take place week commencing Monday 28 August 2023.

Fees and funding

The project is fully funded (home/UK only) by Derby County Football Club and Nottingham Trent University.

Guidance and support

Find out about guidance and support for PhD students.

Still need help?

Dr Ian Varley