Physio Reynolds joins Arsenal

Chris Lakey Canaries physio Neal Reynolds is leaving Carrow Road to join Arsene Wenger at Premier League giants Arsenal.Reynolds is to end his seven-year association with Norwich City to become assistant to England physio Gary Lewin at the Emirates Stadium.

Chris Lakey

Canaries physio Neal Reynolds is leaving Carrow Road to join Arsene Wenger at Premier League giants Arsenal.

Reynolds is to end his seven-year association with Norwich City to become assistant to England physio Gary Lewin at the Emirates Stadium.

The 34-year-old Reynolds has witnessed something of a cull in the treatment room at City's Colney training HQ with his own assistant, Peter Shaw, and Academy physio Rod Dyer axed less than a fortnight ago.


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They have been followed by kit-man Terry Postle and chief scout Alan Wood as City manager Glenn Roeder carries out the promised sweeping changes at Carrow Road.

However, Reynolds - who left his job at Oxford United in June, 2001, to take over from the long-serving Tim Sheppard - survived the axe himself and exits Carrow Road of his own volition, with the blessing and regrets of both Roeder and chief executive Neil Doncaster.

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“Neal is an excellent physio and we would have liked to have retained his services,” said Roeder. “However, this is a good opportunity for him and we wish him all the best.”

Doncaster added: “Neal's ability and reputation in the game has earned him this excellent opportunity at Arsenal and we would not want to stand in his way. Every one at the club would like to thank Neal for his hard work for the Canaries.”

The latter sentiments will be most warmly seconded by City defender Adam Drury, who has Reynolds to thank for avoiding turning a calf injury into a serious problem last October.

Original scans showed a simple strain, but Reynolds thought otherwise - and was proved correct.

“I had a scan on it afterwards and it showed a bit of a calf strain,” said Drury at the time. “But, luckily, Neal didn't agree with that and took me to see a specialist.

“If it hadn't been for that we probably would have been treating it as a calf strain for a while and done more serious damage, so a big thank-you to Neal for checking it out.”

Reynolds might even by in line for an ultra-swift promotion with the Football Association hoping to persuade Lewin to become their first full-time physio.

Lewin has held the role on a part-time basis since 1996 - working at three World Cup finals - but new England boss Fabio Capello wants him on a permanent contract.

For City, the loss of Reynolds follows the announcement, on Friday, of the second phase of Roeder's sweeping backroom changes with Tommy Wright named as goalkeeping coach and Bryan Gunn head of recruitment.

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