The shadow men in Cardiff City and the important work each of them does


Cardiff City first team staff will be debating their ideas on how best to get out of this sticky situation they find themselves in.

The Bluebirds have half a season to make sure they avoid relegation and there’s no doubt everyone is working around the clock to figure out exactly how they’re going to do it.

Of course, the manager of the first team Steve morison is the figurehead of Operation Football. Morison, accompanied by his former Under-23 assistant Tom ramasut , were instrumental in implementing a different football brand, which has worked so well for the club’s most senior academy in the calendar year.

Marc Hudson was also on the coaching staff last month and it is believed that the former Bluebirds captain will not only help tactically but by helping stop the poor defensive record that has marked Cardiff’s season to date.

But, beyond the three coaches of the first team, who else plays an important role? Well, there are a few key numbers that help get the most out of whatever management is trying to implement.

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Two people who have grown in importance in recent years have been the analysts of the First Team Jack Radusin and Josh morris .

It cannot be overstated how important the forensic analysis of correspondence has become in recent times. Analysts now have more say in the proceedings than they ever have.

Much of the job, especially on a match day, is using live video to have an instant impact on the match.

Morris typically sets up a camera that will provide live feed directly to an iPad located on the Cardiff bench. Tablets and laptops have been allowed in the canoe since the 2018/19 season and that has changed the game.

James Rowberry was once the man responsible for overseeing the broadcast of the game live on the bench, that responsibility now probably falls on Ramasut or Hudson.

Radusin sits on the gantry during away games and in a “feed room” in the tunnel at Cardiff City Stadium, using smart software called Hudl Replay to produce real-time human analysis with the iPad on the bench.

Radusin and Morris code the live images – which take around 10 or 15 seconds to reach the iPad on the bench – into different categories, making it easier for coaches to see a particular pattern or trend. If Cardiff wants to understand why they are struggling to defend corners, the bench can immediately look at all the pictures of defensive corners, for example.

There is a greater share of responsibility that comes with coding. If Radusin thinks the coaches and manager need to see something urgently, he codes him as “analyst” to alert the man with the iPad, which is typically used three or four times during a game.

Other uses of these images mean that the club doctor, Dr Len Nokes , and the physiotherapists of the first team James rowland and Chris lewis are able to view clips instantly to better determine how an injury or even a concussion occurred.

While at one point crawling meant just standing in front of a player room and showing clips, the process is now believed to be much more interactive. Players can take responsibility for their own analysis by watching review videos on their own devices at home or at the training complex.

Morris has been an analyst at the club since September 2014, and joined the first team in May 2018. Radusin has been with the Bluebirds since October 2013 and became chief first team analyst three years later.

There are others who also play an important role, of course. Fitness and conditioning manager Carl Serrant is often seen leading team warm-ups on match day, with the strength and conditioning coach Mike beere , allowing the manager and other coaches to undertake any last minute tactical preparation.

And Serrant will know exactly what every player needs, having enjoyed a professional career with Oldham, Newcastle United, Bury and others himself. After six years with QPR and one with Charlton Athletic, Neil Warnock brought him back in June 2017 and he’s been there ever since.

Let’s not forget the guards either. It often slips under the radar how good a job is Andy dibble , the goalkeeper coach, has been doing since returning to the club.

Dibble is a popular figure at the club and if you’ve seen him on a match day before, he seems to know everyone and their grandpa. But he has a lot more say in the proceedings than some realize.

His contribution to signing goalkeepers is essential and since joining Cardiff from Rotherham in January 2017 the Bluebirds goalkeepers and signings have been pretty good.

Neil Etheridge, Alex Smithies and Dillon Phillips have all proven to be very astute goalkeepers in this division and Dibble’s work in that regard should not go unnoticed.

And, finally, the men who make everything go well, the kit men.

Paul carter is responsible for the kit and equipment of the club and is assisted by David bush . Their job is to make sure everything is there and ready for the team to use, whether in training, in home games or away.

Carter has been with the club for five years after joining Stoke City, he is also the man of the kit for the Wales Under-21 team.

The main day-to-day responsibilities on the training ground are to make sure that all players and staff have all the equipment they need to practice. This usually means making sure all the kit is ready and helping the coaching staff to prepare for the training, for example making sure they have all the balls, bibs, cones, poles, mannequins etc. in place before each session.

Preparation for match days can begin three days before the actual match. The jerseys must be printed, along with the match kit, warm-up kit, boots, sneakers, flip flops, medical and scientific equipment, everything must be packed and ready to go. The club bring three jerseys for each player to each game, in case they are damaged for any reason, but the remaining kit is handed over to Kid Aid at the end of the season.

Carter, from Birmingham, is also often seen helping prepare for the match day warm-up on the grass.

He orders the water and drinks of the club and takes care of the administration of submitting to the league the colors that the team will wear in the next match.

And while, unfortunately, Carter has no influence on the appearance of the match day kit – that’s up to the supplier and the retail team – he does have a say in the colors of the kit. ‘coaching ! Match and training kits are ordered 10 months in advance, so ideally in August to be ready the following May or June.

(PS. Players don’t get new kits every time they play. If they exchange shirts or give them away at the end of the match, players are charged for them!)

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