Dr Andrew Nealon founded Aspire Physiotherapy Centre in 2013, having spent most of his career responsible for the injury management of professional footballers and cricketers. Some of these players are genuine greats of their games and many are household names. With these roles comes immense responsibility and privilege, but most of all, the opportunity to learn from some of the world’s best players and practitioners. Between these two sports at the highest level, there is not much Andrew hasn’t seen and solved, at least a couple of times, so he has probably solved your problem before.
Andrew completed his Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Physiotherapy at La Trobe University in December 2017. This is the highest level of academic qualification and Andrew is currently the only practicing physiotherapist on the Central Coast to have achieved this. It was the product of 7 years of original research under the supervision of world leading tendon pain physiotherapist and researcher, Professor Jill Cook. Titled “Side Strain Injury in First Class Cricket Fast Bowlers in Australia and England”, Andrew’s research spanned over 200 first class fast bowlers, over 30 physiotherapists, more than 80 MRI scans, data on 70 injuries, 2 countries and a few Ashes series. The outcomes of this study culminated in the publication of 6 papers in leading scientific journals that influence the way this injury is managed in international cricket. Alongside full time work and being the best Dad he can be to 3 kids, Andrew completed his thesis over a year before deadline.
Andrew spent 10 years working full time at the top of professional sport. He was Head Physiotherapist at Central Coast Mariners Football Club from 2012-17, Senior First Team Physiotherapist at Liverpool Football Club from 2010-12, Head Physiotherapist at Hampshire County Cricket Club from 2007-10, Team Physiotherapist at Chennai Superstars in the Indian Cricket League from 2007-09 and Physiotherapist to the NSW Cricket Team from 1998-2006. During 19 years in professional sport, Andrew worked alongside coaches including Graham Arnold, Roy Hodgson, Kenny Dalglish, Duncan Fletcher, Michael Bevan, Trevor Bayliss and Steve Rixon. Captains of teams that Andrew worked with included John Hutchinson, Steven Gerrard, Shane Warne, Stuart Law, Steve Waugh and Mark Taylor. Andrew’s career has taken him around Australia, across Europe, South Africa and India, with workplaces including Melwood, Anfield, Lord’s, Wembley, MCG and SCG. During his time with these teams, the Mariners won the A-League Championship at Allianz Stadium in 2013, Liverpool won the League Cup (and lost the FA Cup Final) at Wembley in 2012, Hampshire won the One Day Title at Lord’s in 2008 and Twenty20 Cup at The Rose Bowl in 2010, Chennai Superstars won the inaugural ICL in 2008 and NSW won the Sheffield Shield in 2002-3 and 2004-5. Andrew certainly understands what it takes to keep players at their best, and get them back to their best when they fall on hard times with injury.
Andrew has also authored other papers published in academic journals, including a hamstring review in the prestigious British Journal of Sports Medicine. He has contributed pieces to 2 editions of the world’s most popular sports medicine text book, Clinical Sports Medicine by Brukner & Khan and presented at several conferences for Cricket Australia and ECB, the Cricket Sports Medicine World Congress (2015) and the Australasian Musculoskeletal Imaging Group of Radiologists (2022). During 25 years in practice, Andrew has developed a network of colleagues that have collectively written hundreds of text books and journal articles. When you book an appointment at Aspire, you are reaping the benefit of a lot more than a window of Andrew’s time.
“I know I’m very fortunate to have enjoyed the special journey that I have, working at grounds I dreamed of just going to watch a game at, let alone going to work at. I grew up a Liverpool fan, staying up late to watch FA Cup Finals in the 80s with my Dad and the Ashes on TV, hoping to one day play cricket for Australia like so many kids. My physiotherapy career has granted me so many wishes and taken me to places I was never even close to being good enough to play at. I’ve had the best ticket at the stadium on the bench at some iconic places. But I’m happiest at home. I’m more satisfied applying what I’ve learned around the world to our patients here at Aspire, than I’ve been anywhere else. There is nothing more rewarding than helping a patient recover and get back to their best, hearing them simply say thanks and referring someone they care about to benefit from the same help I provided them. It’s the ultimate compliment.
Establishing Aspire Physiotherapy Centre was the culmination of years of ideas and experiences, bringing home what I have learned all over the world from some of the world’s best players and practitioners to the people of the Central Coast.”
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