Long serving first team physio, Paul Dando has left the club for pastures new after eight years as a key member of the management team.
Paul’s career with the club spanned two promotions, one relegation, four managers and many memorable moments over the years and we of course wish him all the best with his future career.
Fortunately the club had a ready-made replacement in Aaron Ajibawo. Aaron had been working with the academy for the past 5 months and having impressed the management team and players with his hard work and dedication, was offered the job last week.
“I’m delighted to be honest. I have come out of the NHS and was working at the academy so even that was an honour in itself. To then get asked to work with the First Team was brilliant and finally to be given the job is amazing.
“I know it is going to be a lot of hard work but I am ready to give it my all.”
Having worked in the NHS for 2 years before joining the academy, Aaron explains how different it is to work in a Football Club environment.
“It is very different. In the NHS you have back-to-back patients every half an hour so it is a little more relaxed here in that sense. Saying that, there is still a lot of pressure but it is a different, more enjoyable type of pressure.
“You obviously have a high turnover of patients in the NHS but here you have the pressure to make sure the players get back fit as quickly as possible because obviously the club, team and fans demand it.”
A strong relationship between the physio and players is hugely important and Aaron believes his prior experience of working alongside the First Team is a big bonus.
“They are a good bunch of lads to be honest. I think it helps that I have worked with them before and they all know me. When I was in the academy I came up to help Paul Dando so it makes it an easier transition. They don’t give me too much stick; they have been good to me so far!”