Pompey chill out in bid to recover
Pompey have twice recently hired out a state-of-the-art piece of equipment to help with player recovery.
And this reporter got the pleasure – or displeasure – to test it out.
Pompey travelled to Rochdale, Bradford and Plymouth in an 11-day period earlier this month.
Racking up more than 1,400 miles on the road – with limited time to rest – the Blues looked to speed up recovery in their push for a play-off berth.
As opposed to the traditional ice bath, the Blues opted to bring down a cryotherapy chamber.
Players spend a total of three minutes in sub-zero temperatures.
Donning only a hat, gloves, shorts, face mask and socks, the first 60 seconds are spent at -60C before they enter a second room where it drops to as low as -150C.
It might not a sound a long time but it is an agonising three minutes.
Luckily, Pompey’s multimedia journalist Dan Smith was there to endure the pain with me.
Bobby Bacic revealed all of the Blues squad used the cryotherapy chamber – with many preferring it to an ice bath.
The head physio said: ‘The cryotherapy chamber has been tried and tested and used in many disciplines.
‘The general principle is to help with recovery.
‘It was down on the Monday after the Plymouth game and then on the Thursday after the trip to Bradford.
‘It is an aid we were trying to use with the players after quite a punishing schedule of three away games.
‘The chamber is a lot colder than an ice bath. It goes down to about -150C while an ice bath is around 3C.
‘As strange as it sounds, the players actually prefer going into the chamber than an ice bath because it is a lot colder.
‘We had 100-per-cent compliance. There are lots clever people doing research into the chamber and ice baths.
‘We find the boys prefer the chamber and we’ll leave the research to the boffins at university.
‘Someone at the University of Portsmouth is researching it.
‘But the main thing is the guys will get in the cryotherapy chamber.
‘A couple of the boys have used it at previous clubs and all the staff have been in it and quite liked it!’
Pompey’s board swiftly agreed to hire the cryotherapy chamber.
Bacic thanked Michael Eisner & Co for giving him the green light to bring the kit to the Blues’ Roko training base.
And the club will look at using the equipment again next season if appropriate.
‘We have got to bring it down at the right times,’ added Bacic.
‘We had a really quick turnaround and some long journeys, like some of the fans will know.
‘We are looked after really well but it’s the time spent on the coach when we are perhaps a little bit cramped up.
‘We will look at how the fixtures are scheduled next season – it won’t be something that’s in all the time.
‘Thanks to the board for backing it. It is a big piece of equipment and not cheap.
‘But they listened to us, thought it would be beneficial and were quick to agree to it.’