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Head of Academy Medical Services at Portsmouth Football Club

Will Harlow-Trigg

The teaching I received at Brunel was first class and it taught me to think critically about the evidence base.

Will, Alumni

Head of Academy Medical Services, Portsmouth Football Club

Physiotherapy BSc (full-time programme) - 2015

From UK

Tell us about your career journey since you graduated…

I started my career with a band 5 physiotherapy role in the NHS, based in musculoskeletal outpatients. I worked here for 7 months before being promoted to senior level. After another 18 months of work in outpatients, I used my part-time sport experience to get a job at Portsmouth Football Club where I head up the medical provisions of the academy. In my spare time, I run a website called "Overcome Sciatica", designed to help people recover from back pain and sciatica with practical advice. I have also self-published a book through Overcome Sciatica.

What does an average day at work involve for you?

I will start early and prepare the players in the academy for training each day, through "prehab" and physical preparation. I will then supervise training or a match, being responsible for immediate first aid. The rest of my day is usually spent treating and rehabilitating injured players. The management side of my role includes organising sufficient medical cover for all training sessions and match days with my team of part time staff. I also run regular CPD events for the staff, too.

What’s been the highlight of your career so far?

From a football perspective, my highlight was providing medical coverage to fixtures against Premier League sides at impressive grounds. Outside of employment, my personal highlight has been completing my first book and seeing it really help the people who picked it up. I was also honoured to be trusted with mentoring students in my current and previous roles.

How would you say Brunel helped you to get where you are today?

The teaching I received at Brunel was first class and it taught me to think critically about the evidence base. The assignments and exams were challenging and the placements that were arranged for me were wide-ranging and interesting. I felt prepared for real-world work as soon as I'd graduated, which isn't always the case with many graduates from other universities.

Why did you choose to study at Brunel and why would you recommend Brunel to others?

The friendly atmosphere and top quality teaching profile that I observed at an Open Day swayed my decision. I think the lecturers at Brunel will definitely have a great positive effect on your learning experience here so you will be in good hands. The facilities are great and the Mary Seacole Building was excellent.

What is your best memory of studying here?

I really enjoyed the fast-paced nature of the MSK teaching. I also enjoyed coming into Uni to work on my dissertation because there was a friendly but productive atmosphere to work in. The lectures were always pitched at a good level of understanding and the lecturers genuinely cared about how we were doing.

If you could give one piece of advice to new students, what would that be?

Try and get everything you can out of the experience of being at University - use the expertise of the lecturers and read as many journals as you can. If you get opportunities to meet new people, take them. Try to put in as much hard work as you can on your placements.

What would be your top tip or advice for new graduates as they begin their career journey?

Even if you aren't in your ideal role for your first job, concentrate on being the absolute best you can be at that thing; this will naturally lead you towards something better and build your reputation. Make sure you are friendly and open to meeting new people and building connections early on in your career.