Mark’s received excellent response from squad

New head of football science and medicine Mark Farrell admits there are challenges presented by coming into a new club partway through a season but says he’s received an excellent response from the players.

The former Kilmarnock, Motherwell, and Albion Rovers sports scientist was recruited by manager Jonatan Johansson at the beginning of the month as he finalised his own backroom staff.

Mark’s first matchday involvement came during the draw at Inverness Caledonian Thistle, and he says the squad have been extremely receptive as he looks to work in partnership with them to optimise performance levels.

Speaking to media officer Jonathan Mitchell, he said: “I feel fortunate to have been given this opportunity to work at a club like Greenock Morton, and I’m really enjoying it.

“I’ve been involved in football now for about 12 or 13 years now, with clubs like Motherwell and Kilmarnock, and last year I worked at Albion Rovers. I also worked at the SFA  for a wee while as a community coach.

“I was Motherwell’s academy sports scientist then went to Kilmarnock as head of sports science for the academy, and with Albion Rovers I was first-team sports scientist.

“I went to the University of the West of Scotland and gained a first-class honours degree in sports coaching and science. I’m currently working through all my post-graduate stuff as well.

“In terms of coming to Morton, I received a phonecall from a colleague in football advising there was a position here and asking if I would be interested. I said ‘yes’ and it went from there.

“It’s a good opportunity to work with a different group of players and it’s challenging as well, coming in partway through a season and trying to put your own stamp on things.

“You’ve got to buy into what the players are doing, but the players have also got to buy into you. Since I’ve come in the players do seem to be buying into the philosophies.

“I’ve been challenged, too; they’ve been asking me why we’re doing this or why we’re doing that and you explain it, and that dialogue only helps.

“Certainly, the senior players want to prolong their career and they’re keen to ask questions and get my spin on things whilst also giving me an idea of what they prefer.

“You work in partnership with the players and build that rapport. I was actually teaching them new techniques recently, how to olympic lift, and the players really, really bought into it; there was real interest.

“There have been laughs and jokes here and there too as you can imagine with the banter that goes on in a football enviroment, but the players have been excellent and the first weeks have been really, really good.”

The 29-year-old is fully aware that he shares a name with our long-serving groundsman, and when asked if he went by another moniker to avoid confusion, he laughed: “I’ll maybe need to change my name!

“We keep getting mixed up when people are referring to us. Some of the boys have been calling me ‘Taz’ and that has kind of stuck, so that might be an alternative.”


Images: Gary Bradley