World Cup Football fever is gripping the nation, here at Valley Leisure we asked our Fitness Instructor at The Rapids, Naomi Greene who plays for Portsmouth Ladies FC for the low down and how to keep football fit.
How long have you been playing football?
I have been playing football since I’ve been able to walk! I have pictures from a camping trip on my first birthday to prove it! Kicking a ball around, in a pink dress with my older brother.
In terms of playing, I was not allowed to play for a team so secretly joined a team when I was 11, paying for the subs with my paper round money! I then joined another local team which resulted in me being scouted to play for Coventry and my parents supported me from then on. When I turned 18 I moved down to Southampton for University and in my second year signed for Portsmouth Ladies who play in the National Premier League and have been there ever since.
What does your training in the gym involve and do you do any training outside the gym? And how does it help you in your job?
In terms of training, right now I’m preparing for pre season so the training isn’t very exciting! It mainly consists of cardio and a high volume of exercises like lunges, squats and press ups. During the season I do a lot more power training for instance deadlifts and squatting as well as specific plyometric training like box jumps. The X-Ten studio here at the Rapids will be excellent for all my specific plyometric and agility training that won’t be suitable to do in the gym.
I train outside of the gym but only technical football related stuff. Fitness wise everything is done in the gym, as I’m not a fan of long distance running. The training I do definitely helps me at work, as it allows me to demonstrate exercises, especially when introducing members to more challenging exercises. It also gives me a lot more energy around the place as well.
What do you think are the most important aspects of fitness for footballers?
The most important aspects for a footballer I think is definitely endurance, both cardio and muscular. If you’re not fit enough to be on a pitch then you wont keep up. Once general fitness is sorted it depends on the position of the player but being a centre forward myself, power and strength are vital to pose any sort of challenge to opposition players.
What do you think of football in the local area? Do we have any rising stars?
In terms of football in the local area there are a lot of football teams around which is growing all the time. There is also a lot of young talent which is helped through by the Hampshire set up. I have met a lot of girls through Portsmouth who have been brought through that set up. There is also local talent from Southampton such as my team mates Lucy Quinn and Gemma Simmonds who are both only 20 years old and are big players for us in the National Premier League and have also played out in America. There are also players like Laura Rafferty, again from Southampton who is making waves at Chelsea Ladies in the Super League.
What do you think of the sports opportunities and facilities in the town?
In terms of opportunities there is so much on offer for young people; this comes from the facilities on offer. There’s plenty of choice when it comes to leisure centres such as The Rapids and also football clubs such as Romsey Town FC and Southampton FC. They offer coaching clubs as well as academies for children of all ages. Then for adults you have places like Goals 5-aside centres.
Who do you think will win the World Cup? Are there any players you’ll be keeping an eye on?
World Cup 2014. There’s no question the favourites are Brazil and with it being on home turf for them I’d be amazed if they didn’t win it. Although with football you can never be certain! I think the young players are the ones to watch. Neymar Jr will take centre stage for Brazil.
Naomi works at The Rapids in Romsey as a Fitness Instructor. www.valleyleisure.com