Being a successful team is often about finding an edge and Western Sydney Wanderers believe they have found the secret to make them a Hyundai A-League powerhouse in 2019/20.
The club recently received a visit from Dr Dana Ryan, who is the Director of Sports Performance at Herbalife Nutrition, which is also one of the club’s sponsors.
Ryan has devised nutrition and sports performance programs for clubs like Schalke in Germany, MLS’ LA Galaxy and Atletico Madrid’s women’s side, as well as working with the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo and Indian cricket captain Virat Kohli.
She spoke with the Wanderers coaching staff and squad about the importance of nutrition, as well as formulating individual meal plans for every player.
With coach Markus Babbel looking to take the club back to the finals for the first time in three seasons, Ryan’s insight could be the Wanderers’ secret weapon.
“It’s all about coming up with the specialised programs and using best practices in sports nutrition and finding the best ways to implement it for every player,” Dr Ryan told a-league.com.au.
“You have to create an environment where the right nutrition is accessible and know what the right nutrients are to supplement what they are already doing.
“From speaking to the players they say they can already see the differences and feel the differences.
“It’s so important what players put into their body, which can not only help with their performance but also aid recovery and prevent injury.
“It’s a really critical part of not only their everyday performance, but how an athlete is going to perform in the long term.”
Dr Ryan, who has worked with more than 75 teams right around the globe, first started advising the Wanderers in January.
Babbel’s troops produced a mid-season revival to give themselves a chance of making the finals, eventually finishing in eighth spot.
But with the nutrition program in place and the club’s new state-of-the-art facilities at their Centre of Football the Wanderers expect to be title contenders in 2019/20.