Philip Yeates

Tue 12th December 2017 at 18.30 - 21.00

Football's Physio

There is no magic in the physio's so called magic sponge revealed this week's guest speaker Pip Yeates but he certainly had some magic moments to narrate in his fascinating account of 30 years in Scottish football. 

His career started at Dunfermline Athletic where he served from 1981 until. 2003. While at Dunfermline Pip was physio to Scottish Youth teams 1987 -2014. Success at this level included the 1987 U19 World Cup in Chile and the U16 World Cup 89 in Scotland.

Craig Brown knew Pip from his youth team involvement and asked him to be the physio to the Scottish National team from 1994-2008. 

He was fortunate to be there at a good time for the international team and went with them to Euro 96 and the 1998 World Cup in France.

Walter Smith then took Pip to Rangers from 2008 until 2013 and he was in the dugout for the UEFA Cup Final in 2008.

Pip has since moved on to treating injury and rehab. He related how things had changed from one of the first injuries he treated as physio at East End Park. It was a knee injury to Rab Stewart and he went out and bought ordinary pulleys from Watt and Dewar and sand bags to use to build up resistance.

Pip explained methods of measuring stamina explaining the monitoring of the Cardiopulmonary system, statistics for players on heart rate and the use of altitude chambers.

Apart from treating injuries part of the work of the physio is injury prevention. This involves screening, testing, recovery protocols (most players will take two days to recover). 

Pre season testing and screening examines body fat, speed and strength tests, hydration tests - biggest problem when at Rangers was the continental players drinking expressos before training. 

Pip discussed recovery protocols included no cold water immersion, pool exercises and compression garments.

He said "football has been really good to me, I have met a lot of nice people but the hardest thing has been long term injuries. The good part in treating players who were out with serious injuries was dealing with Neale Cooper and Jimmy Nicholl because they were both full of great stories!"

Pip was asked his opinion on heading the ball and recent reports of possible dangers to footballer's health. He claimed that research should have been done on this before now. There was a need to examine if instances of Alzheimer's in footballers is greater than in the general population. Footballs are now vastly different to what they were in the past but nevertheless research should be being undertaken now to assess the risks and any possible related dangers.

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