Newly appointed Leicester City physio Gary Silk has likened his personal achievement of graduating from the University of Salford with a degree in Physiotherapy to the Foxes’ remarkable achievements last season.
Silk, 31, counts Portsmouth, Notts County and Mansfield among his former clubs and while the one time full-back admits that he failed to scale the heights as a player he has already tasted life at the top of the game since refocussing his talents towards the treatment room.
Last term, he was in the team behind the team that completed the footballing fairytale of any era to storm to The Premier League title. As first team masseur, he was directly responsible enhancing athletic performance via pre and post training/match massage, general soft tissue conditioning and injury prevention or massage in the treatment and rehabilitation of sports injuries.
That’s an achievement in itself before adding on the demands of the twice a week trek up to Salford to complete his academic studies.
“Obviously it was a massive achievement winning The Premier League with Leicester City and it was something really good to be involved in, but for me, personally, this is right up there as well,” said Silk.
“Working full-time you’re going home and continuing with your University work in the evenings. In the summer if you work in football when everyone is finishing and getting six or seven weeks off you’re going on placements for five or six weeks. You don’t get much of a break, it’s fairly full on but it’s working towards an end point and then it all seems worth it.”
Silk starts this campaign working directly alongside David Rennie (Head Physio) and Simon Murphy (First Team Physio) thankful to be doing the “next best” job aside from playing as Claudio Ranieri’s team look to defend their title and embark on a European adventure.
“That was initially why I did my massage courses,” he continued.
“I did them while I was still playing with the view of being able to stay in football. Then I was made aware of this course and The PFA spaces on it and I’m now able to say that I’m a first team physio at Leicester City.
“For me it was probably the only way I could stay in football I probably didn’t really achieve what I wanted to achieve as a player but now I’m working in the Premier League it’s probably the next best thing.
“We’ve got a fairly small (medical) department at Leicester and with getting into the Champions League we needed more staff.
“There’s going to be some players staying behind when others are away and there was an opportunity there for me working alongside Dave Rennie and Simon Murphy with the first-team and I’ve been lucky enough to move up.
“We’re going to have at least six more fixtures with the Champions League thrown in midweek so it’s going to be about recovery. Obviously we’ve signed some more players and hopefully we’ll keep hold of the rest of our players and have a slightly bigger squad. It’s just going to be about managing a big squad. It’s going to be a tough season obviously I’m not sure if we’re going to be able to recreate what we did last season but we’ll give it our best shot.”