Who is Jon Whitney? The ex-Walsall physio-turned-manager aiming to make an impact at Hartlepool United
Hartlepool United are benefitting from the expertise of the experienced Jon Whitney during pre-season - but who is he?
A number of Pools’ first-team squad have already been put through their paces by Whitney at some early pre-season training sessions, and the former physio looks set to continue aiding Craig Hignett’s squad.
But who is he? We take a detailed look at Whitney and his role at Hartlepool United:
Where has he worked before?
After a playing career mainly spent in the lower leagues, with spells at Huddersfield Town and Lincoln City among others, Whitney pursued a career in physiotherapy upon his retirement.
He was appointed as club physio at Walsall in 2003 - having previously run his own sports therapy clinic after his playing career ended.
After several years with the Saddlers, Whitney was appointed assistant manager to Dean Smith in 2011 and combined that role with acting as the club’s physio.
But his role drastically changed in 2016 when, after Sean O’Driscoll’s departure, he was appointed as first team manager.
Whitney remained at the helm until last year when he was relieved of his duties.
How did he end up at Hartlepool United?
The former Walsall boss was initially brought to the Super 6 Stadium by Richard Money - with the pair having crossed paths at the Banks’ Stadium.
When Money served as manager of the club between 2006 and 2008, Whitney was the club’s physiotherapist.
And while it’s unclear as to whether their prior working relationship paid a part in Whitney’s addition to the Pools backstaff, it was certainly Money’s call to get him involved.
But while the man responsible for recruiting Whitney has now departed, the 48-year-old has remained and is continuing to assist current boss Hignett.
What exactly is he doing at Hartlepool United?
Whiteny doesn’t have an official job title at Pools, but is aiding Hignett on the fitness and sport science side of things.
He has already held fitness sessions ahead of the pre-season break and has enabled the club to fully utilise the sports science equipment at their disposal in order to maximise performance.
Speaking about his role, Hignett said: ““We have been using Jon Whitney on a consultancy basis over the last few months to help us bring our medical and sports science departments up to speed.
“His background is in that sort of field and he’s been a massive help to me with what he’s done.
“He’s been able to help us improve the way we utilise our GPS equipment and better analyse the performance of every player both on the training ground and in games so it’s been a real positive to have him around.”
Whitney also played a key role in appointing Callum Davidson as the new First Team Performance Therapist.