Updated: Nov 1, 2022
Hey it's James! Owner of Matchfit Football (formerly Matchfit Conditioning).
Thanks for stopping by! I guess the best place to start is to tell you a little about me and how I came to found Matchfit.
I studied BSc Sports Science at University before going on to specialise in football strength & conditioning, earning a Masters in Football Strength & Conditioning from the Football Science Institute.
As part of this I'm within a specialist network of football conditioning coaches and taught directly by sports scientists and nutritionists working at some of the worlds biggest clubs - including Real Madrid, Barcelona and PSG.
As a player, I spent 9 years at English professional club Wycombe Wanderers and represented England Schoolboys before suffering a "career ending" labral tear hip injury at age 19.
However I made a miraculous return to semi-professional football at the age of 24 thanks to a programme which I designed using new-found knowledge from my studies (and blankly refusing to give up my dream). I spent almost 5 years training by myself, studying and experimenting with different training strategies until I finally cracked the code. In the space of 12 months I went from unable to jog for 5 minutes to playing 5 times per week, completely pain free, and getting paid for it.
I'm here to tell you that if you want something badly enough and have the right plan and mindset, then anything is possible.
I created Matchfit as through my own experiences I realised how important it was to teach players from an early age about the critical role that strength and conditioning, nutrition and mindset has in enabling elite performance to become possible (and maintained for an entire career). To date we've helped over 40,000 players from all over the world become standout players in their team, overcome injury issues once and for all and in some cases even step up to international level.
Here's how my team and I have helped 50,000+ footballers, and we can help you too...
The reason I created Matchfit is simple...at the highest level, football (or soccer) has reached an extraordinary standard over the last 15-20 years. On the one hand this can be put down to improvements in coaching, equipment and facilities, on the other we can look at how more attention has been paid to the development of footballers who are not only technically brilliant, but also possess incredible athletic abilities.
Here’s the current issue. With every passing day, the gap widens between the players at the top level who are guided by sports science experts on a daily basis and the many talented players outside of the professional environment, who have the technical ability to play at the highest level, but lack the knowledge and support in terms of athletic development to make it realistically possible.
Indeed, having high levels of technical ability provides only a fraction of the qualities you need to possess in order to play at the highest level. One of the biggest challenges? Having a body which allows you to stay on the pitch and not break down.
A world class football athlete is pre-conditioned to be able to cope with highly demanding workloads season after season, whilst limiting the risk of injury setbacks from overuse. They possess the capacity to impact matches in the way that they wish to in their minds, rather than within the limits of what their bodies will allow. This takes years of compounding daily smart, science-backed training efforts and optimal nutrition to achieve.
Of course, there’s more to fitness and nutrition than simply avoiding injury. It has the potential to unlock a level of performance and expression of skill which would simply never be realised without it. My goal is to make you excited about the fact that you can become a dramatically more effective footballer without even touching a ball and to awaken the realisation that without strength and conditioning you will almost certainly never fulfil your true footballing potential.
I want you to think “my god, I wish I knew all this 10 years ago!”
No matter if you’re currently an amateur, semi-pro or pro player, if you apply our training method you will take your performances to a new level not possible by training your technical ability alone.
Yes, continuing to develop your technical game is a crucial part of your success, you’ve got to have elite technical ability to stand any chance of playing at the highest level and a “football brain” which makes smart decisions on and off the ball. But what we'll show you will further enhance the results of your training efforts and allow your technical and mental talents to flourish on the pitch to a much higher degree.
What’s in front of you right now is a wonderful opportunity to develop a highly influential aspect of your football performance which will directly impact the level which you are able to play at. Much of what we'll reveal to you is still overlooked, misunderstood and under-utilised by millions of players (by no fault of their own).
If you want to become a world class pro, you need to train and have the lifestyle habits of a world class pro. The sooner you start the better, it’s as simple as that. This is a process which requires years of compounding smart training efforts and eating habits, it’s why players who join top professional clubs from a younger age have a significant advantage over gifted players outside of that environment. The vehicle they have to express their talents from is simply more developed.
As a result, they:
• Are more resilient to common football injuries
• Are stronger on the ball
• Adapt to and recover from training faster
• Can maintain high intensity efforts for longer
• Possess more advanced levels of athleticism
• Can react and move more efficiently at a higher level of their speed capacity…to name just few qualities.
Notice how none of them directly involve the ball? All of these things are in your control, if you have access to the knowledge required to achieve them.
So, with the internet giving almost every footballer on the planet access to unlimited scientific studies which reveal all of this knowledge, why is it that so many players are still not applying it to their game and reaping the rewards? I believe it comes down to two main things:
It’s one thing knowing what the research says, it’s another thing all together being able to apply that knowledge successfully to your training when there are endless scenarios to consider and elements of performance to juggle and cram in. This is where specialist fitness and nutrition coaches come in, to remove confusion and allow you to focus on what you do best, playing football.
Access to these coaches however is by no means cheap or widespread. Which leads us to the situation we are in now. The only players who can capitalise on this knowledge are the ones who:
1. Are at a top pro club and can be guided by experts
2. Have and can afford access to coaches in their local area
3. Have self-educated (which takes years of study and often means sacrificing a professional football career to go to university)
Our mission with is to give players, football coaches and parents (who are outside of the top professional club environment) simple and practical fitness and nutrition strategies which can be easily applied to any training schedule to unlock a higher level of performance.
You may be wondering “why are you so passionate about this subject?”
Well, as a player I spent 9 years at English professional club Wycombe Wanderers and represented England Schoolboys U18's before suffering a “career ending” injury, being told by doctors that I could never play football again at the age of 19.
It took a year of being pressured into playing through mounting pain (causing irreversible damage) and one incorrect diagnosis after another before eventually reaching that moment (if you’re interested to learn more about my story, click “My Story” from the main menu).
That experience kick-started my sports science journey and after 4 years a return to football at semi-pro level was made possible thanks to knowledge that I uncovered and applied. You’ll find many of those insights and tons more within our programme.
By all accounts my return to football was miraculous, with the doctor initially telling me that I had no future in “playing or coaching sports of any kind”. That comment alone fuelled the fire for my comeback, I was determined to prove him wrong. Hopefully the fact that you’re now on this website and reading this demonstrates what can be possible for you if you get resourceful. Not only did I play football again (and had 3 of the best years of my life doing it), my team and I coach thousands of players around the world every single day.
Throughout my playing years I saw many talented footballers get released or not “make the cut” for reasons that had absolutely nothing to do with their technical ability. I also saw players who were nowhere near as technically gifted, but fantastic athletes, go on and achieve incredible things in football. Imagine the possibilities if you possess both qualities!
I strongly believe that if you want to fulfil your true footballing potential, then you need to understand and appreciate the pivotal role that fitness, nutrition and psychology plays in unlocking elite performance. I’m not talking about a debatable 1 or 2% difference here; I’m talking about completely transforming the level of impact you’re able to consistently have in matches.
Ultimately, the goal of any footballer should be to fuse peak performance with a low injury rate. We'll guide you as close as we can to achieving that whilst bridging the gap between where you are now and what’s required of your body at the highest level of football. Here at Matchfit, we pride ourselves on our ability make the seemingly complex and overwhelming, simple and actionable for players.
Ready to get Matchfit?
Meet The Team
Strength & Conditioning
Yianni is my assistant coach and has an MSc in Strength & Conditioning. He's an Accredited Strength & Conditioning Coach from the UKSCA and a Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist from the NSCA. He has experience in providing conditioning support in pro football at Leyton Orient FC and academy football at QPR.
Matchfit Football Podcast Presenter
Darren joined Matchfit Football mid 2021 as the presenter of our new podcast - The Matchfit Football Podcast! Darren is an avid football fan and experienced podcast presenter, he closely follows players and leagues from all over the world and interviews current professional players on what it takes to become truly "Matchfit". This includes unravelling their top training tips, nutritional habits and mindset strategies to maintain elite level performance.
You can catch all of the the interviews on YouTube, Apple podcasts, Podbean, Spotify and on our blog!
Shaun has an MSc in Sports Nutrition, a BSc in Nutrition and has worked privately with several top-level footballers since completing his Masters. During his time as a Performance Nutritionist with Science in Sport (SIS), Shaun was closely linked with Manchester United -supplying players with personalised advice on supplements and complete nutrition plans.
Jarred has a BSc in Sports Rehabilitation, a MSc (Med) in Exercise Science and is a certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist (CSCS). Jarred is also currently working as the Lead Sports Scientist for one of South Africa's biggest football clubs, Kaizer Chiefs and works with the South Africa National Womens team.
Barney has a Masters in Sports Psychology and is a member of the British Psychological society. He also worked with the youth academy at a top Premier League club, supporting players mental performance all the way up to first team level.