Graeme Henderson, head of performance

Greenock Morton Football Club are pleased to confirm the appointment of Graeme Henderson as our first ever head of performance.

A former Partick Thistle and Dundee United employee with a master’s degree in sport, exercise science and medicine from Glasgow University, Graeme joins as a full-time member of Ray McKinnon’s backroom staff.

The 30-year-old, who also holds a UEFA A licence, will utilise the latest technology and his expertise in sports science to ensure the Ton players are in peak physical condition.

Speaking to media officer Jonathan Mitchell, he said: “I’ve worked in football for 10 years now and was very fortunate to do that from when I completed my degree.

“First of all, I worked with the Scottish FA. After that I went to work with Partick Thistle followed by Dundee United – and I’m now delighted to be here at Greenock Morton, a proud club in terms of history.

“My path first crossed with Ray at the SFA and again at Dundee United, and when I got the phonecall to come and join the staff here, I thought it was a fantastic opportunity to join a progressive club.

“I’ve been really excited. The training facilities are great, and the reception we’ve had, not just from the players but the other members of staff and the local support, has been fantastic. There’s a real buzz about the place.”

When asked to describe what the role would entail, he explained: “To put it in a nutshell, it’s to make sure the players are available to play. Now that incorporates quite a few things.

“From working closely with the physiotherapist Alyson and covering strength and conditioning sessions in the gym to nutrition and simple things like making sure the players are getting enough sleep.

“We’ve brought in GPS units, which you’ll see a lot of the top-level clubs using. This gives us information in terms of how hard the players are working, their sprint distances, and the loads they are carrying out.

“There’s recovery work and pre-hab sessions before training, when we get the players out 15 to 20 minutes beforehand to go through some exercises and movements.

“On matchday, my role will be to first of all help in terms of pre-match meals, supplements, hydration then take the first part of the warm up, in terms of movements and activations to get the players ready.

“Making sure subs are prepared to go as soon as the gaffer needs them and ready to hopefully make an impact on the pitch will be my responsibility

“We also have health and wellbeing apps that the players have to fill out every morning, which I get a little bit of stick about because it’s quite annoying for them, but it’s got to be done.

“Then there’s things like supplements and diet. It terms of diet, it’s more of a kind of guidance role. We do take body fats on a regular basis and provide meals after training.

“From there we have to trust the players. The phone is always there and the players will come and ask me for information, but, listen, we have a great squad who’ve bought into everything we’ve done.

“Chris Millar is a personal trainer, Michael Tidser has completed a course to qualify as a masseur; there’s great pros like Jim McAlister who have been there and done it and know what should be put into their body.

“Essentially, we’re trying to cater for the players as best we can by giving them every possible new technology available within our budget.

“So there’s lots of scope and it’s a credit to both the manager and Darren [Taylor] that they trust me to look after those elements on the fitness side of the players’ development.”


Images: Gary Bradley