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My (Physi) Ode To Sunday Football

By July 17, 2017January 10th, 2019Physiotherapy, Sports Physiotherapy

I’ve loved it as a player and I’ve continued to love it as a Physio. Forget the Premier League, the real magic happens on bumpy, lower-grade pitches of Sydney suburbia. If any of my old teammates read this I’ll be in trouble and they’ll rightly tell me to sign up for next year rather than just typing about it. But for now I’m saving my bones and putting my efforts towards patching up my footballing patients. So here is a Physio-tinged ode to the ugly side of The Beautiful Game.

Do you have a proper keeper? An annual dilemma! If you don’t you have two options. Use Dave’s other mate (also called Dave), who is willing to put the shirt on even though you know he can’t actually kick and he needs to be picked up for every single game. Failing that, it’s going to be your reserve left fullback giving it a whirl, or even worse, you! Random shoulder, wrist and rib injuries are in play if you’re not the real deal.

Do you have a ref this week? Seriously?! No ref again. I swear the under-8s have a ref, two linesmen and goal line technology, but we’re relying on the other team’s coach. Watch out for late tackles!

There’s injuries and then there’s injuries. God forbid it’s your turn for an ACL or something similar. But for every serious one, we know there are twenty phantom hamstring tweaks, knocks or jarred ankles that will probably be managed by ice and stubbornness.

The Warm Up. While this often boils down to simply cracking shots at the keeper, we all know how a warm-up goes; jog across the pitch, side-steps, open the gate, close it, sprint, pretend headers and (for some reason) touching the grass.This pattern that we all know actually serves as a decent way to test yourself out before your play. So if you’re coming back from injury, do your warm-up properly and if you’re not feeling right, call it off.

The Liability Player. Every team has one. The different versions include The Big Unit, The Passionate Two-Footed Challenger and The Nutter. Beware! Give them a wide berth.

Hangovers. You’re probably better off if still a bit drunk to be honest. But this can go the other way when certain types play the game of their lives with a hazy booze-cloud around them. Just remember your water-bottle.

The Cool Down : Occasionally called upon by an overzealous coach in the week before the Semis. Feel free to ignore them.

The Concrete Pitch: Autumn rain + Aussie sun = Concrete. Better get the dettol ready!


  • One of the worst common mistakes is to ignore a groin strain and let it worsen. It’s easy to think you’re okay as it won’t necessarily seem that bad at first. Trust me, you can quickly lose a season if taken lightly. If you feel it go, stop, walk off, ice but don’t stretch and come in to have it assessed properly.
  • Catch-up games are an injury nightmare. Playing twice in a weekend should always ring an alarm bell telling you to be sensible. Don’t skimp on things you know you should do, be that icing/stretching/taping.
  • If in doubt, get it checked out. Your Bend + Mend Physio is perfectly placed to diagnose the injury, tell you what to expect and discuss a plan to keep you playing as much as possible. We can also refer you directly for all kinds of scans without needing a GP.
Blake van Koesveld

Blake graduated from the University of Sydney in 2003. He has worked in both Sydney and London and completed a Certificate in Spinal Manual Therapy in 2011. Blake has particular expertise with orthopaedic conditions and enjoys helping patients to weigh up their treatment options and with post-surgical rehabilitation. As a lifelong sports fan, Blake uses his knowledge of sports to customise rehabilitation for his athletic clients. After battling his way around the 2012 Edinburgh Marathon he has a deeper appreciation of the “foolish but fun” world of amateur endurance events.

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