At the top level of football, any edge you can gain over your opposition proves vital, and it is in this spirit that the Lucozade Sport Performance League has been giving amateur teams the Premier League treatment this season.
Launched in August, the LSPL is a nationwide amateur football campaign in which teams compete in a virtual league and receive a Barclays Premier League club-style sponsorship package, including Nike kit and free Lucozade Sport products for the year.
The LSPL's November Team of the Month was Old Stretfordians AFC, who were invited to United's Carrington training centre for an in-depth training session with Reds fitness coach Tony Strudwick, a member of the league's expert panel.
The emphasis of Tony's performance class was very much on fine-tuning the team's weekly training and match-day strategies, and on making sure that the players understand how they can best condition themselves for 90 minutes of competitive football.
From the number of hours sleep to the optimum amount of fluid to stave off dehydration, Strudwick's session covered all the seemingly minor factors which can have major impacts on players' games. As Tony says: “No matter what the level, players and coaches should finish each fixture knowing that they left nothing to chance.”
Visit www.lucozade.com/football to watch Tony's session and pick up some training tips for your own team - after all, the smallest margins can make the biggest difference.