Scientific methods mean it's not just total football for Holland
THE appliance of science could be one significant boost Gloucester City's squad get from experienced new boy Chris Holland, writes James Young.
The 32-year-old defender has made an immediate impact in his first three games back with the Tigers – six years after initially joining the club on loan.
Two wins and two goals from the centre-half have rejuvenated City's season, and further benefit of the former Bath City man's signing could be felt in the coming weeks.
After starting the season with Gosport Borough, Holland moved to the county after taking a job as a lecturer in sports therapy and sports science at the University of Gloucestershire.
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And as a committed tutor he admits it will be difficult not to turn the City dressing room into a classroom, albeit to students who may be more disruptive than most he deals with.
"When I took a job with the University of Gloucestershire signing for Gloucester City was an obvious move," Holland said.
"I know Boris (manager Dave Mehew) and a few of the lads from my time with Bath City and it's a good club to be at.
"I lecture in sports therapy and in sports science, looking at sports physiotherapy, nutrition and physiology and how that's applied to sport.
"It will probably be impossible not to take some of that teaching into the dressing room here. Whether the boys listen to me at all, that's another matter!
"I certainly try to take it into my own game."
Holland's arrival saw City adopt a new formation, as the experienced defender known to his team-mates as 'Dutch' formed a back three with skipper Matt Coupe and Tom Hamblin.
The change yielded immediate returns, with a 5-1 Blue Square Bet North thumping of Bishop's Stortford and a 1-0 FA Cup success against Eastleigh last week.
Holland believes the new system can continue to reap rewards for City and help propel them up the table, starting on Saturday at Bradford Park Avenue.
"Traditionally throughout my career I have played with a flat back four, but having three at the back gives us a few more options going forward," Holland said.
"Our shape has got a lot better over the last three games and hopefully we can take that forward and take the form we've got at the moment in to Bradford on Saturday.
"I've obviously played a lot of Blue Square Bet South football, and while it's certainly more physical in the North I think the standard is better now too.
"We have a small squad but a good one. And if we can keep key players fit then we can certainly push on."