BFC Purchase fitness expert

'You'll see a new team from Feb'

BFC Purchase fitness expert

One of the very few clubs in the country that has earned praise for its professional set-up is Bengaluru FC and the debutants have now confirmed the signing of fitness expert Malcolm Purchase to add further flight to their fine take-off.

Realising the importance of fitness in a sport as demanding as football, BFC have now sought the services of the seasoned Purchase, who has a two-decade experience in the field of fitness and nutrition, including a long stint with UK Athletics and smaller tenure with former Premier League side Wolverhampton Wanderers.

“I had a few offers in England, one of them from a Premier League club,” said the 49-year-old Purchase who has been working with BFC since late November. “I was working with Wolves (Wolverhampton) until May when I wanted to leave them because I was not able to implement my ideas.

“But they kept me on till July to improve the fitness levels of the goalkeepers. In July, I left Wolves and there were a few English clubs who wanted me but (BFC coach) Ashley (Westwood) gave me a call. I thought it would be a great opportunity to work in a completely new environment and make a difference. Now, I’ll be bringing Premier League standard to Bengaluru FC,” added the heavily-tattooed Purchase.

Hitting the training ground the day he landed in Bangalore, Purchase said most of the tests have been carried out on the players and the fans should witness a very different BFC very soon. “I’ve already done the hydration and wellness testing. We are screening all the players and done several tests to determine the speed, agility, endurance and leg strength. The easiest part of a fitness coach is conduct the tests but the hardest part is to improve.

“But I’ve been fairly successful in my career and being a former UK athletics coach, I’m used to training them to run faster and jump higher. I know everything you need to improve as a footballer and I’m putting across a six-week programme. From February 23 onwards, you’ll see a faster and fitter Bengaluru FC.”

A no-nonsense person, Purchase felt the BFC players were weak on their legs. “The moment I arrived, I noticed quite a few imbalances in the diet and I’ve straightaway started rectifying them. The players’ legs have not been conditioned probably. When I test people, I gauge them on how quick they can run and how quickly they can turn. They’re okay fitness-wise, but they’re nowhere near where they should be.

“But we’re going to push our levels to go where we need to be. To become a good footballer you need to strengthen your legs which will happen only through core strengthening,” added Purchase who will work with the team until April before deciding whether to extend his stay or not.

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