Former Liverpool coach joins Town

IT will be fitness first at Portman Road following today's appointment of Antonio Gomez to the Ipswich Town backroom staff.

Elvin King

IT will be fitness first at Portman Road following today's appointment of Antonio Gomez to the Ipswich Town backroom staff.

The 32-year-old Spaniard, who was fitness coach and sports scientist at Sunderland under Roy Keane, has followed his boss to Portman Road.

He joins the Blues as a fitness coach, and will work alongside Simon Thadani, who holds a similar position, in all fitness aspects.

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When Gomez joined the Black Cats from Liverpool 12 months ago, Keane was quoted as saying that the number of players out injured decreased.

This strengthening of his staff shows the emphasis Keane is putting on fitness and having his players available every week.

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Keane, who is happy with his pre-season schedule of games, has made it plain since day one at Ipswich that he wants to steer clear of injuries as he looks to hit the ground running when the Championship season begins on August 8.

“I worked alongside Antonio at Sunderland and know what qualities he can bring to this football club,” said Keane today.

“He will be a valuable asset as part of our coaching staff and I'm delighted that he has agreed to join us.”

Gomez spent two years as fitness coach at Liverpool under Rafa Benitez's management before heading to the Stadium of Light in July 2008.

Born in Murcia, he gained a degree in physical education from Leon University and went on to achieve a FTB Masters from Barcelona University.

He then began seven years working in the lower leagues in Spain when appointed fitness coach at FC Relesa.

Gomez then joined Real Murcia in the Second Division, before moving on to FC Orihuela, FC Cartagena and UE Lleida.

He was brought to England to work at Anfield by Rafa Benitez in the summer of 2006.

“I'm delighted to have been given the opportunity to join such an ambitious club as Ipswich Town,” said Gomez, who joins first team coach Tony Loughlan in moving with Keane from Sunderland to Suffolk.

“I know Roy wants to take Ipswich Town forward and win a place in the Premier League, and I'm looking forward to playing my part in that challenge.”

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