Anton has been working with the club since pre season this year and has already become a very popular figure at the club. We caught up with him between player treatments on Tuesday night at training to find out a little bit more about the man with the medical bag.
“I was born in Swindon and attended Commonweal School in Swindon, up in Old Town. My main sport over the years has been American Football. I’m a huge fan and spent 5 or 6 years playing for the Swindon Storm American Football Team.
“Now my main participatory sports interest is in Brazillian Jiu Jitsu. It’s a bit like Graeco Roman wrestling; all of the action is floor based and it involves wrestling, choking holds, grappling etc.
“I have to say that I wasn’t that interested in sport at school. I did Karate for 9 years between the ages of 11 and 20 but only did the obligatory 6 weeks of rugby during my time there. There were no teams so I didn’t take it any further. Out of school, and after I had finished at school, I spent a lot of time in the gymnansium, working on my fitness. During this time I took a Personal Training Qualification. That was OK for a time but I soon realised that I wanted to learn more so, at the age of 24 I got a degree in Sports Therapy from the University of Gloucestershire, commuting each day from my home in Swindon.
“At present I work for Star Medical out of the Link Centre in Swinon. Most of my time is spent with sports therapy, injury assessment and treatment and then rehabilitation. I also work with the Academy squad at Swindon Town FC and, of course, with Minety RFC.
“I’d driven through Minety before but had never stopped at the rugby club so, when Star asked me to work with Minety it was a new challenge in a new environment. I’ve been working with the club for 3 or 4 months now and it is a really nice and friendly club with a good family atmosphere. I’ve felt really welcome here, perhaps the most welcomed I’ve felt at any club that I’ve worked with.
“Working with a relatively small club like Minety does bring its own challenges. It’s a small club but it does have a high turnover of players and my main concern is to make sure that players are fit and ready to return to playing after an injury. It’s an amateur club so it’s also important that, as far as possible, all the players can get to work fit and healthy on the Monday after a game of rugby at the weekend.
“So many people have asked if I’d like to swap the therapist’s bag for a rugby shirt sometime and I would be lying if I said that I wasn’t tempted. We’ll just have to see.
“In the future I’d like to build up my client base in the clinic work, which I really enjoy. I may look to go back to professional sport. I did a full year with Swindon Town FC. It was high pressure but a good challenge.”
We ended our chat with a question that I’ll be asking others at the club in future (so get your answers sorted in advance). If you had the chance to see your favourite band, anywhere in the world, who would they be, and where would the concert be?
“Oh goodness, that’s a tough one. I think it would have to be The Killers and it would be really cool to see them in San Fransisco or Las Vegas.”