PHYSIOTHERAPIST Ian Brewer, who is well known in local sporting circles, has just returned home from spending a week in Loughborough, where he was working with the England netball squad, writes Richard Walsh.

Originally Jamaica were meant to be travelling to this country for a three-match series, but due to Covid restrictions this couldn’t take place, as a result of which England Netball created an International All Stars team from players in the UK, and Brewer was invited to be the physio for that team.

Brewer grew up in West Somerset and enjoyed his early rugby playing for Minehead Barbarians, before going onto play for Taunton between 2005 and 2010.

Brewer spent seven years working as Somerset County Cricket Club physiotherapist, before leaving to set up his own practice in Taunton.

Now, in addition to running The Crescent Clinic, he is the Taunton School physio, covering all sports injuries.

Reflecting on his time with England Netball, Brewer said: “It was a great week and after a break of a few years I really enjoyed being back in the professional sport environment

“Thankfully we didn’t have any major injury issues and I could hand all the players back to their Super League teams in one piece.

“At the start of the week we trained twice a day and I was doing treatments before and after these.

“On game days I would carry out treatments in the hotel before travelling to the court and then helping with any taping requirements and warm-up activation work.

“Post-game I would assess any injuries or niggles and make a treatment plan and timetable for the following day.”

“This week has made me realise that elite netball really is a full-on sport.

“The speed they move the ball around the court and their handling skills are superb.

“One of the biggest shocks for me was the physicality of a non-contact sport.

“Working with the girls in the gym and chatting to the strength and conditioning coach made me realise how hard they all train to develop the acceleration, explosive power and stability, especially of their ankles and knees, to be able to consistently perform at that level.”

Brewer is hoping that there might be further opportunities for him to be involved with England Netball in the future, but until then it's back to the day job!