September 9, 2020
The medical team under the scanner
A ‘spider’s web’ is how Jean-Philippe Gilardi sums up all the different facets and activities of the OGC Nice medical department he runs. A veritable nerve centre of the club, the department continues to grow with each season, a process which accelerated firstly with the move to the new training centre and then again with the arrival of INEOS. What is the full scope of its activities? What are its projects for the future? OGCNICE.com takes you inside the ‘spider’s web’, one strand at a time.
IN THE MIDDLE OF PLAY
"The difference between our service and a classic medical service? The coordination with many different areas of the club." Expressed concisely, the answer points in many directions. Each of them, through its diversity, attests to the collective dimension of the medical work. "The most important relationship is that with the technical staff, the coaches, Matt (Cook, assistant coach in charge of physical preparation) and the coach, because it directly concerns the players and their performance," says JPG. "In the medical department, we establish the diagnoses and the treatment. Then, with the player, we organise prevention, the rehabilitation protocol and return. Generally speaking, we are in contact with many services: Olivier Dall'Aglio and the sports coordination for the pure organisation, the players' tests, the away games; the security for the training sessions; the Communications team for the commercial activities which include the players... In the end, the information circulates in a loop. They must then be synthesised and put in order, so as to be able to provide clear information."
The Covid-19 crisis has only reinforced this central position, since the medical service has drawn up the health protocol for all the Club's employees. Protocol which, with the help of the Rouge et Noir General Services team, led to a change in the living environment and habits of all the Gym's employees.
CHANGE OF DECOR
In the past three years, the medical service has grown rapidly. The starting point for this rapid expansion? The new training centre. "Yes, it was a milestone for us, because we were consulted for the construction of the medical department. So when the centre built, everything was exactly as we wanted, which is quite a leap forward. What's more, we had anticipated our development and kept certain ideas in mind."
Some of these ideas applied immediately, for example, a cryotherapy room has been installed in the sports area of the pros in partnership with the company PUREXPERT.
They also open up new perspectives: in the near future, the weights room will be enlarged to include outdoor areas, with new machinery to be installed. A heated work cabin has also been ordered for the next few weeks, while work will start next year on the installation of a DEXA (which enables biphotonic absorptiometry to be evaluated). "We're looking at a lot of new techniques and new methods," says the doc. "We are working on what can be easily adapted to football. But the trend is clear: we are moving towards more and more specialised fields, because now we have more space, more people and more resources."
"The space, the people and the means" all coincide with the arrival of INEOS at OGC Nice. But concretely, what has changed since August 2019? "We've reinforced the professional medical staff by one more person in each category," explains Gilardi. "A dietician has also joined the team. That enabled us to recruit accordingly to the training and to orient ourselves towards activities that we hadn't yet started, on which we had to invest." This season, the novelty concerns sleep analyses, "developed with a team from INSEP, using bracelets and helmets for the players. Saliva tests also allow us to see, on a hormonal level, if there is "overtraining" or fatigue. For some years now, we have also been taking blood samples every 3 months, in addition to the classic tests, to draw up an oxidative stress assessment." The objective of this assessment, carried out by Doctor Garel, from Grenoble University Hospital: "To control vitamins and enzymes. Once we have everything, vitamin supplements are elaborated according to the results and the inherent needs of each player. Then the dietician gives them cards with the foods they should eat and a programme to respect. They are checked every 3 months and adjusted. Now, as we also have the catering service, we can control three quarters of the players' meals over the day, which is a great advantage." The organisation of a seminar bringing together doctors from the different sports in which INEOS is involved (sailing, cycling, football) is also being considered.
In 2020-21, INEOS Hygienics became the official health partner of OGC Nice. Having put all its expertise to good use during the COVID-19 health crisis by building factories to produce and supply for fee in record time disinfectant hand gel for hospitals and those fighting against the propagation of the virus, INEOS Hygienics has become the official health partner of OGC Nice. Now capable of supplying to the Gym and to the public at large hospital quality products, the new division of the INEOS group, launched during the crisis, accompanies the players on a daily basis in order to allow them to play in total confidence. As was the case for the 1st match of the season of the Gym at Allianz Riviera, the new partnership will also be visible at the stadium throughout the season and will also figure on the outfits and material of the medical staff.