Key role for Cardiff University Professor in Champions League Finals
23 May 2017
Cardiff University will be represented at both Champions League finals taking place next week in Cardiff.
Professor Len Nokes from the School of Engineering will be sitting behind the team bench in his role as Medical Liaison Officer (or pitch side doctor in football parlance).
Along with a colleague from the School of Medicine, he will be ensuring that there is a first class medical support service for players and staff of the four clubs involved in the women’s Champions League final on Thursday 1st June, and the men's final on Saturday 3rd June.
Professor Nokes, who is dual qualified in both medicine and engineering, explained: “My role involves close communication with the team doctors for the clubs participating in the finals and making sure that there is efficient and effective medical support for the teams from the time that they land in Cardiff to the time they leave. We will be on call 24/7 during the tournament.”
Professor Nokes will be attending all training sessions as well as the finals on Thursday evening and Saturday evening, respectively.
On most Saturday afternoons, he can be found on the bench at Cardiff City Football Club, as he has been their team doctor for over fifteen years. He also holds the same role for the Wales men's senior football team, when they play home matches in Cardiff.
Professor Nokes makes good use of his medical role in football to inform and enrich his research and teaching in biomechanical engineering at Cardiff University. His main research interest is in trauma science and the causes and prevention of injuries in elite athletes.
He said: “I am interested in looking at injuries, how they occur and how they can be prevented or treated. I am currently working with colleagues at Cardiff Metropolitan University where we are collaborating with FIFA to investigate how footballers interact with different pitches, for example, the new third generation artificial pitches compared to turf pitches.”
His outside interests have also proved beneficial to students as they are able to gain access to top professional athletes who can provide essential data for their research in biomechanical engineering.