I had a great discussion with the head strength coach for Manchester United last week
He, interestingly, made contact with our team orthopodic surgeon Dr. Vonda Wright at our sports medicine facility which is next to our training facility. He inquired about her connections with individuals with extensive training experience in youth development and Dr. Wright asked me to speak with him.
I didn't catch up with him until he had already toured our facility so we only had about 45 minutes to chat before he had to leave.
He was very forthcoming in stating that his knowledge and experience were grass roots based and that when he assumed his duties 11 years ago, for the 1st team, the skill set the management recognized in him was his excellent interaction with the players and the positive response he got from them.
As of the recent post-world cup he has been shifted from the 1st team to work with the developmental squad, I believe he referred to it as the academy, in which the age range is 11-16.
So I discussed with him the fundamentals of working with this age group.
While our discussion was shorter than we would have preferred it was very enjoyable and he stated that he would be in touch with me soon.
I asked him if there was much sharing of ideas with the other high level European clubs (I specifically asked about ReaL Madrid and AC Milan) and he said that the high stakes competitive nature rendered a situation in which any collaborations are very general.
He was clear in stating that he is very conservative in the load he places upon the players due to the extraordinary long season and that he gives them a complete month off during their limited time away from the competition calendar and frequent skill practices.
We didn't get too far into what he did with his players because his primary interest was in gaining my insight on youth training; however, regarding strength training for the 1st team, I gathered that his approach was conservative doses of general work.
He's a super guy and I'm glad to have met him.