Dr. Craig Duncan, Human Performance Strategist “African players are incredibly athletic, powerful and technically good”
Africa FootGoal: Dr. Duncan, do you follow African teams today? How can you assess their performance and can we expect possible collaboration in the future?
Craig Duncan: The teams I’ve worked with have played against African teams. The last time was in the Confederations Cup, when I was working with Australia in Russia and we played against Cameroon. I would love to cooperate with an African nation. I think they’re incredibly athletic players, incredibly powerful, technically good. I wait for the day when an African nation wins the World Cup, and I think it will happen, just because there is so much ability, both technically and physically. I think if a team can get through the groups’ stage and manage the fatigue, and manage all those things, the longer the tournament goes on, that’s what becomes very important. I think it was in 2002, Senegal went quite a way in the World Cup and the thing is as you go further in any competition, it gets about managing that fatigue. I specialize in that so I look forward to one day working with an African nation, I’d love to do that, or any team in Africa. I actually have never visited Africa so it’s one place that is in my dreams to come to.
Africa FootGoal: That means we can expect to see you working in Africa one day?
Craig Duncan: I just think it would be a wonderful opportunity and working culturally, and understanding the culture and working inside that to maximize the performance is an exciting project for me.
Africa FootGoal: Dr. Duncan, we would like to hear your thoughts on the Africa FootGoal conference.
Craig Duncan: I think very much that we could make a difference with the education, and I think Mr. Aziz has done very well with the federations, with the confederations, the education of the coaches of Africa in respect to sport science and the overall performance science. I think that the more we educate people in Africa the better it will become, from grassroots, from the younger teams, all the way through. I would love to be involved in those aspects because I think ultimately I would love to see the sports science development at the universities throughout Africa expand and football science develop. Because ultimately you would love that people from Africa are working with their own nations and doing very good and world class sports science, because I truly see that one day not too long an African nation will win the World Cup. I think Mr. Aziz is very right, it’s going to be the integration of everything that does that and in my experience looking and reviewing the African nations that physically are outstanding, but in a tournament that can easily go away and injuries rise if we do not manage the fatigue and the recovery and doing all the little things, but inside the culture, inside the cultural aspects of it. I think we can make a big difference there and I hope one day I have the opportunity to help in any way that I can.
Africa FootGoal: Thank you very much.