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Introducing Bruno Demichelis


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Carlo Ancelotti has brought one member of staff over from Italy with him, someone who knew the new Chelsea manager as both a Milan player and the club's coach.

Bruno Demichelis will act as assistant first team coach, overseeing the human performance/scientific/medical side of team preparation. Ray Wilkins's responsibilities as assistant first team coach are the football/technical side.

Bruno was with the team throughout the tour of America and it is about time Chelseafc.com discovered more about him.

Born in Venice, his excellent English stems from time spent as a young man working in an English-speaking glass blowing factory in the city and was advanced while studying in the States. It also comes from listening to The Beatles, claims Bruno, and is useful in aiding Ancelotti with the language in his early weeks.

Bruno joined AC Milan's backroom team in1987 and aided the club during its golden era. He was behind the famous MilanLab set up there. He has his own sporting past too, as visitors to YouTube can see for themselves.

But he is here to develop this generation of Chelsea players, and he is about to explain how.

Please give more detail on your role at Chelsea

My job is a scientific co-ordinator as I was in my previous job in Milan. Personally I am a sports psychologist so generally I will assist the coach in order to co-ordinate all the activities that are provided to the team and individual players to help them reach their highest performance level.

Was your job unique to Milan or common among top Italian clubs?

Let's say we advertised very much what we did at Milan with the MilanLab. MilanLab is an application of a very simple idea, which is putting the person at the centre and trying to have a holistic approach to working on injury prevention. It is trying to be really proactive which means trying to predict and prevent injury as much as possible instead of reacting when they are injured.

It is trying to be professional in every area. We will try to be more scientific so we try to make decisions based on data and information rather than opinion - that is in the tactical, the technical, the nutritional, the biochemical, the psychological etc.

In performance at this top, top level the difference between a winner and a loser is based on very, very little details sometimes. A 100th of a second; a few centimetres. It is little details. Of course you need quality, you need a solid base, but then you need the little details. That is what we will try to do because I have found in this club already that they have an extraordinary solid organisation and a team of professionals that are at an outstandingly high level.

I was expecting to bring more because I had ignored how well this club was organised. That was because you didn't advertise the fact very much. You had a very understated profile so we didn't know what we were to find here, and as a matter of fact I find it will be even easier here because so much is done.

So what does need working upon?

We need only to implement something in the mental area which will be looking at stress and all the instruments we use to assess the nervous system to see if the players have recovered from fatigue.

All top clubs know very well what I am saying, they try to cover all the areas and have an integral and integrated approach to performance. That depends on how advanced and how accurate the procedures are.

I think that we can bring experience because I was in the last 20 years in a club that was very successful and the same we will try to apply here because we strongly believe that this club can really achieve. That is because it was so close in the last five years, and I know how frustrating it is to come to that level and not succeed.

So we want to turn this frustration into positive energy and a fury - and help them to succeed because they deserve it.

It must have been a big decision to leave Milan after so long there?

Yes, it was a big decision but I took it in a fraction of a second. When Ancelotti said I'm moving, do you want to come with me, I didn't know exactly where but I said yes. That is because I like very much the guy, I worked with him the last 10 years and I knew him since he was a player.

We are close friends too and I love very much the approach he has. He is a very intelligent person, very loyal, very simple, he delegates very much so he also gives a lot of satisfaction to everyone who works with him.

They feel really appreciated and he is a caring person too, so he is a perfect manager to work with in my opinion. It was a big decision but my family is happy and they came with me. My nine-year-old granddaughter that I am bringing here has already booked herself into an English school to live this experience. I am very excited and motivated, and I am very proud and honoured to be here.

Who from your family has come?

My wife and my older daughter and my granddaughter with her, because my daughter is going to study for a masters degree in positive psychology in London. So I have part of the family and I am happy.

You used to be a top level sportsman yourself.

We are talking about 30 pounds [less in weight] and 30 years ago! I practiced for about 20 years very intensive karate and we can call this sort of practice professional, not because of the salary but because of the time invested. I used to train seven or eight hours-a-day for 19 years and I was several times national and European champion and I was twice silver medallist in Tokyo [in the world championships]. It helps me cope better with a team because everyone who has practiced sport can relate better with other sportsmen.

And you can be a bit of a singer too.

Yes, I like it and I knew you have this initiation in the club [when everyone new sings a song] which I really appreciate very much as it helps to socialise. We have a lot of fun and it was good to be invited to sing which I like when I sing my Blues, and also sometimes opera. My oldest son is a professional opera singer, he is a baritone.'

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Source: Chelsea FC

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He seems to know what hes talking about with preventing injuries which will be great for the club.

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