Hayward returns to Wolves as Head of High Performance

Phil Hayward with former manager Nuno Espirito Santo

Phil Hayward with former manager Nuno Espirito Santo

PHIL HAYWARD has returned to Wolves as Head of High Performance as the club undergo significant change behind the scenes ahead of the new season.

Hayward worked for the Molineux club from May 2008 to December 2019, latterly as their Head of Medical. He then moved to the United States to become Director of Performance for LA Galaxy before working as Andy Murray's physio on the ATP Tour last year.

TGG can reveal that he returned to Wolves earlier this year to head up their Performance and Medical department, which includes responsibility for the men’s, women’s and Academy teams. Oscar Caro, who arrived with manager Julen Lopetegui in November, having worked alongside him since 2016, has continued as fitness coach with the first team.

More clubs are going for this same split, of a strategic Head of Performance and on-field practitioner working closely with the first team. Nottingham Forest recently appointed Alek Gross in the strategic 'overseeing' role, with David Tivey as the ‘on-pitch’ practitioner alongside Steve Cooper.

There has been significant movement behind the scenes at Wolves in recent months. At the end of last month, Technical Advisor Fran Garagarza - who had been described as Lopetegui's ‘voice at the top table’ - left after just seven months to become Sporting Director of Espanyol.

There has also been a lot of change in the performance and medical department in particular. Previous Head of Performance and Medical Rob Chakraverty left in November following Lopetegui's arrival and Head of Sport Science Tom Farrow (now at Chelsea) and Performance Psychologist Dr Kate Ludlam (now with GB Boxing) went with him.

We can reveal another three departures from the department:

  • Matt Wignall: Soft tissue therapist who had been with Wolves for 16 years joined Aston Villa in November
  • Richard Kirby: Lead S&C coach who had been with club for nine years, now working in private practice.
  • Michelle Rich: Nurse brought in by Chakraverty.

There have been the following two appointments to the first-team medical staff:

  • Matt Butterfield: Promoted from Head of Academy Physiotherapy to become first-team physio.
  • Jon Murray: First-Team Osteopath appointed in March after nine years with UK Athletics.

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