From today's Manly Daily:
DNA tests in bid for super stars
MANLY players are being DNA tested in a ground-breaking scientific experiment aimed at producing the ultimate footballer.
In a first in Australian sport, 18 players have given DNA samples,
with a further six to undergo cheek swabs next week.
The samples are to be tested at a Mortdale laboratory.
When all the information is compiled each player's training program will be individually tailored to match his genetic make-up.
The information will also help identity those who are susceptible to certain types of injury and help in injury rehabilitation.
Manly team physiologist Steve Dank believes DNA testing will give the Sea Eagles a decided advantage over their rivals.
"We are using DNA to look at the genetic blueprint of the players," Dank explained.
"We develop a genetic pool and can tailor-make the training program specific to what the gene results give us.
"Traditionally players have turned up to training and done the same sort of speed and endurance work in one big group.
"This (DNA) information indicates certain players are more orientated towards anaerobic work and others are more orientated towards aerobic work.
"We want to get to the stage where we specialise the groups according to the genetic profile."
Asked if it was the first step towards producing the super footballer, Dank said: "We can certainly put together the profile but you still have to take environmental factors into account.
"But this is a tool that will give us a huge advantage.
"No one else in Australia is doing this in any code of football."
Manly coach Des Hasler is delighted with the early results from Dank's work.
"It is pioneering stuff, very state of the art," he said last night.
"It's not going to win you competitions but it can give us advantages in certain areas."