Port Adelaide Fitness Guru Reportedly Leaves For EPL Giant

20 June, 2017, 12:54 | Author: Valerie Burke
  • Darren Burgess works with the Socceroos in Melbourne in 2010

He has been "hand-picked" for the role by Arsene Wenger, who is thought to be impressed with his experience in the Premier League and beyond.

Former Liverpool high performance manager Darren Burgess will join Arsenal in July, Australian Rules Football (AFL) club Port Adelaide have announced.

The club's existing fitness coach, Tony Colbert, is likely to be asked to report into Burgess, who is also expected to work closely with Shad Forsythe, appointed as Arsenal's head of athletic performance enhancement after his work with Germany at the 2014 World Cup.

Burgess will join up with the Gunners in July, but he will return to Australia later that month to oversee the Port Adelaide's performance programme at the end of the current campaign.

Burgess is close to agreeing terms with the Gunners with Arsene Wenger shaking up his backroom staff ahead of the new season.

"We acknowledge that this is a life-changing opportunity for Darren", chief executive Keith Thomas said. "To have a club like Arsenal hand pick Darren is testament to the calibre of our personnel, our football program and ultimately our organisation".

Burgess, 43, worked at Anfield for two years between 2010 and 2012 helping the players with their fitness. However, as agreed with the Gunners, he will continue his association with Port for the remainder of the AFL season and the start of pre-season in 2018.

He said: "Reaching this decision has been one of the toughest decisions in my professional career".

"My family loves the lifestyle of Adelaide and more importantly we love everything about the Port Adelaide Football Club".

"When the opportunity came up to return to Port Adelaide I had no hesitation in returning".

"But the opportunity to return to the English Premier League and work at Arsenal is an opportunity I couldn't refuse".

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