Paul Green on reuniting with former teammates at Doncaster Rovers and finding his feet as fitness coach

There was an element of getting the band back together when Paul Green arrived back at Doncaster Rovers earlier this month.

Sunday, 31st October 2021, 4:00 pm
Paul Green is Rovers' new fitness coach

And he admits reuniting with former teammates has helped him settle into his role as Rovers’ new fitness coach.

Green replaced Rob Lee in the role, to join the coaching staff alongside Richie Wellens and James Coppinger, with whom he won promotion to the Championship at Rovers as part of a brilliant midfield unit.

“It’s great to be back,” he told the Free Press.

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“It’s where I started my career so to be back on the staff in some capacity is great.

“Coming into the club where I started and working with people I know well like Copps, Richie and Noel [Hunt] has made the transition a lot easier.

“The transition side I’m really excited for.

“It’s something new for me but I’m looking forward to the years ahead and trying to help this team and club moving forward.”

Wellens has gone from teammate to boss for Green but he feels there has been little change in the man or the relationship.

“Nothing changes,” Green said. “That bit of banter around the place is still there.

“As a manager, he doesn’t leave any stone unturned so he wants everything right.

“He gets all the information across to the players that he thinks they need so they have the best chance of winning the next game.

“It’s great to see.

“Seeing him as a player and how he was, he’s taken that into management as well.

“He lives and breathes football. That’s what he was like as a player.

“He’s always talking about the game and thinking about things, which is what he’s taken into his management career.”

Green owns and operates the A1 Football Factory in Pontefract, where he offers individual coaching sessions to players, including Tom Parkinson, Alex Fletcher and Josh Lindley who all earned first year scholarships with Rovers earlier this year.

While strength and conditioning has been a big part of that, Green says it was the opportunity to join the staff at Rovers that piqued his interest in getting involved with a club.

“I’ve got my business back home and I was doing one-to-ones there on the strength and conditioning side along with the coaching,” he said.

“When this opportunity came along, I jumped at it.

“It really excites me and being among the staff has made it even better.

“I’m still playing at Boston, still staying fit and that’s something I’ve prided myself on.

“I’ve done my qualifications. I’ve done my UEFA B and I’m doing my A License now as well.

“Everything fits. The fitness, the strength and conditioning and nutrition, I’ve prided myself on during my career.

“If they need me to do some coaching as well, I’m always available.

“I’ve done the qualifications with the strength and conditioning so when the job came up it was the right fit.

“I’ve got the other side of it in terms of experience for the younger kids in the squad who can hopefully lean on me for a bit of guidance.”

The 38-year-old has been delighted with his settling-in period at the club.

He believes his first hand knowledge of the rigours of the game both physically and mentally means he knows exactly what the players need and are thinking ahead of each training session.

“They’ve all been responsive,” Green said. “I think they know the levels I’ve been at so hopefully I can help them as much as I can.

“Being a player, I know what their bodies are going through. I know what they’re going to be feeling when they’ve won or lost.

“Hopefully I can rub across them on that way as well.

“I understand what the bodies are going through. I know what they need on recovery days or if they need extra.

“I’ve always spoken to them to say that if they need me, to come speak to me. I’m not just here as a fitness coach, I’m here to help and develop them.

“I think it’s a big advantage that I’ve got in this job. I’ve played at a good level for many years and I understand what the body is going through and how they’re feeling physically and mentally.

“I can relate that to the gaffer and Noel about the sessions as well to make sure they’re not too long or too short.”

Green continues to turn out for Boston United in the National League North, meaning he misses weekend matchdays for Rovers - something he admits is difficult.

And he revealed he is hoping to come to an agreement with Boston to allow him to leave and make his Rovers role a full time one.

He said: “It’s probably been the toughest thing, not being there for matches.

“I’d like to see how the players are responding to the weekly amount of training.

“It’s nice to see how they do in the games and their energy levels. That’s probably a tough one to take for me.

“I am still playing at Boston and that’s how it is at the moment.

“We’ve tried to sort something out but they weren’t ready to do it.

“We’re just waiting for them to agree and then I’ll probably come in full time at that point.”

On the pitch, Green believes Rovers are on the right track after their tough start to the season.

He said: “I’ve been working with the lads for a few weeks now and they’re all upbeat.

“They understand where they are at the moment and that they have to dig deep for victories but there’s some quality players in there and I’m sure they’ll get out of it.”

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In these confusing and worrying times, local journalism is more vital than ever. Thanks to everyone who helps us ask the questions that matter by taking out a subscription or buying a paper. We stand together. Liam Hoden, editor.