SPOTLIGHT ON: Amy Decker – Physiotherapist

In our latest ‘SPOTLIGHT ON’ series, we sat down with Amy Decker, Physiotherapist at our Langwarrin clinic. In our chat, Amy talked to us about working with St Kilda Football Club’s AFLW team and how she stays at the forefront of her field.

What area of Physiotherapy most interests you?

An interest area of mine would be bridging the gap between rehabilitation and returning to sport – I believe there is a large gap and often not an appropriate and safe transition during end stage of an individual’s injury.

What has been your greatest professional achievement in the last 5 years?

I’m privileged enough to have two equally great achievements which are travelling to the Gold Coast as a part of the track and field Commonwealth Games team and working with St. Kilda Football Club with the AFLW team.

What professional development have you undertaken to ensure you stay at the forefront of the latest techniques and treatments?

I’m a strong believer that as a physiotherapist if you think you know everything about injuries you are in the wrong field. Treatments and evidence are forever changing and there are always different techniques to learn. I achieve this through podcasts, courses and shadowing highly experienced physiotherapists in addition to studying my masters in sport.

What is one thing that everyone should be doing for injury prevention?

Prevention is the key to injury management and therefore is strongly important to complete mobility and activation prior to playing/training/ working out to achieve the best outcome.

What is your favourite part of your job?

Definitely my favourite part would be when a patient has achieved their goal whether that be taking the court/field for the first time after an injury or lifting up their grandchild. The happiness in the patient’s voice and face – that’s why I continue my job.

If you could be in any movie, what would it be?

Avengers – So I could have super powers!


To make an appointment with Amy you can BOOK ONLINE or call Langwarrin Sports Medicine Centre on 03 9789 1233.

Peninsula Sports Medicine Group partners with the St.Kilda football club’s, Next Generation Academy

Peninsula Sports Medicine Group is pleased to announce its new partnership with the St. Kilda Football club AFL Next Generation Academy.

Peninsula Sports Medicine Group has been “Hands On” in community-based and elite level sport for over 28 years with many of its Physiotherapists acting as State, National and International medical team members

Peninsula Sports Medicine Physiotherapy possesses a vast amount of high-level expertise in Sports Physiotherapy. Joining Amy Decker as Physiotherapist for the St. Kilda Women’s AFL team physios, is Simon Johnson who has recently been appointed to the position of chief physiotherapist for the St Kilda Football Club Next Generation Academy.

Simon Johnson will continue to act as team physiotherapist for the Frankston YCW football/netball club in the Mornington Peninsula league and will now add the St Kilda role to his impressive CV. He practices clinically from the Langwarrin and Somerville practices for Peninsula Sports Medicine Group.

Simon is experienced in treating acute spinal and sports injuries especially knee, shoulder and lower back conditions. His passion for football, along with his wealth of knowledge treating football players makes him the perfect fit for partnering with the St Kilda Football Club.

What is the Next Generation Academy?

The AFL Next Generation Academy (NGA’s) are a joint initiative between the AFL and AFL clubs aimed at the attraction, retention, and development of talented junior players (male & female). AFL clubs are incentivized through draft concessions for these players and the role in developing them through the program. Simon as such will be the physio to the potential next crop of AFL draftees and stars of the future

Peninsula Sports Medicine Group looks forward to working with the Saints Next Generation Academy. To find out more about Peninsula Sports Medicine Group and the services we offer, please visit



Three things you MUST know to be fit for finals

With the end of the winter sports season fast approaching, many of you will be preparing for a budding successful finals campaign on the charge for the premiership.

Entering finals can be a challenging time for most athletes – emotions run hot, expectations are high and there’s a buzz in the air. Unfortunately though by this point of the season, we’ve often been nursing injuries and niggle’s for the past couple of weeks, or potentially even months and one week off depending on your sport, is generally insufficient time to get back to 100%. The beauty is everyone else is feeling the same way!

So here are our top three tips to gain an advantage over your opponents, as we knock down the door for the final month of winter sport:

1. Recovery

Often talked about, rarely performed well. As our bodies sustain wear and tear from day to day work, training and then competition, it is essential that we give our bodies the right tools to recover. Sleep, nutrition and mobility in my opinion are the cornerstones of this.

  • Sleep: avoid caffeinated drinks after lunch and limit screen time before bed. If you can’t sleep, get up and move around! Laying there thinking about sleep often results in sleep anxiety which, in turn, is further disruptive.


  • Nutrition: get an ample amount of fresh fruit and vegetables, unrefined carbohydrates and protein as well as drinking enough water before, after and during training. Our body needs nutrition to fuel our performance – there are no Ferrari’s scooting around with 91 in the tank.


  • Mobility: A physiotherapist specialty. If you have a manual job or maybe your desk-bound, how your body moves or doesn’t during the 8-10 hours you’re at work will directly correlate to your performance come game day. (See below for some examples of everyday mobility work that everyone should be endeavouring to add into their regime). If you can feel your back starting to stiffen up, or your neck is getting sore hunched over a desk all day, get it seen to, get some advice, and optimise your performance on and off the field.


2. Sports Psychology

With finals comes excitement. But for some, comes the pressure of performance.

When you hear any elite athlete talk, they often say “it’s 90% mental”. Having your head in the game, so to speak, is one of the biggest factors when returning from an injury or when playing sore.

Confidence leads to natural movement, hesitation leads to unnatural movement and subsequent increased risk of injury, further decreasing performance.

Have a chat with someone senior at your club, your coach or a teammate that has been there before. And if you do have an injury – may be an old calf that’s niggling or a shoulder that doesn’t feel quite right – get it seen to so that you can put it to the back of your mind and you can once again solely focus on the sport at hand – stress-free.

3. Training load

Although you’re fortunate enough to find yourself at the business end of the year, now is not the time to try and get fitter, stronger, and faster – that’s for the preseason.

The goal now is to maintain and rest up. You won’t lose any fitness doing three sets of ten on the bench press instead of your usual three sets of twelve!

Listen to your body. If you are unsure, come and have a chat with a Physiotherapist. Load management – particularly pertaining to muscle tears, growth plate related issues in our junior athletes (e.g. Severs, Osgood Schlatters, Sinding-Larsen-Johansson syndrome) and tendon pathology – are daily conditions for physiotherapists.

Our goal as physiotherapists is to get you, the athlete, back to 100% ASAP, and with the proper management leading into the next month and beyond we are confident everyone will reap the rewards of a long season ahead.

By Daniel Browne, Physiotherapist

For more information or to make an appointment, you can BOOK ONLINE or call your local clinic.

SPOTLIGHT ON: Alex Balnaves – Physiotherapist

In our latest ‘SPOTLIGHT ON’ series, we sat down with Alex Balnaves, Physiotherapist at our Langwarrin clinic. In our chat, Alex shared why community sport has played such an important role in his life.


My interest started due to my involvement in local sports. I studied exercise science at university and became interested in injury management and rehabilitation. After having a couple of minor injuries through sport, I attended physiotherapy and the relaxed environment appealed to me.

What does being part of community sport mean to you?

Community sport is a great opportunity to make friends and develop relationships with people in your local community. While studying physiotherapy, I lived in Bendigo and playing football in the area allowed me to become friends with people from different backgrounds, who I otherwise wouldn’t. It’s also a highly rewarding experience, as you put a lot of hours in to training and games.

What is your philosophy around injury management?

Injuries are an unfortunate aspect of all sports, due to the unpredictable nature of the environment. My personal view of injury management is that we as physiotherapist’s have a wealth of knowledge in injury diagnosis and management, and providing support, advice and reassurance to our clients is the most important aspect of care. I also emphasise the clients role in their rehabilitation, as the time spent in physiotherapy is short, and active engagement with the rehabilitation process often leads to better outcomes.

What is your proudest sporting moment as a player?

My proudest sporting moment would have to be winning a premiership at Wedderburn Football Club in 2017. I’d never won a flag before, so it was great to get that one after not playing football for 4 years.

What is your worst injury and how did you overcome it?

I’ve actually been very fortunate with injuries during my time playing sport (touch wood), the worst injury I’ve ever had was a large cut in my forehead from a misplaced elbow. I’ve also had two AC joint injuries, which I had assessed and managed at Langwarrin Sports Medicine Centre.

Who is your sporting hero and what do you admire most about them?

Being a Saints supporter it would have to be Nick Riewoldt. I think what I admire most about him is the endurance and mental fortitude he brought to every game.

If you could have a superpower, what would it be?

The ability to fly would be pretty good, it would make getting around a lot easier, and you’d never miss a Grand Final.

To make an appointment with Alex you can BOOK ONLINE or call Langwarrin Sports Medicine Centre on 9789 1233.

Peninsula Sports Medicine Group joins St Kilda Football Club’s new Bay2Business Program

Peninsula Sports Medicine Group has recently joined the St Kilda Football Club Bay2Business Program.


The Bay2Business Program is designed to connect local businesses through access to hospitality and networking events throughout the year.

“We have always had a long standing connection with the Saints” said Peninsula Sports Medicine Group Director, Lachlan Goodison.

“A number of our Physiotherapists have been involved with the club over the years. Currently, Physiotherapist – Amy Decker, is working with the Southern Saints in preparation for their entry into the AFLW in 2020.”

“We would like to congratulate the Saints on their move back to Moorabbin. The facilities at RSEA Park are state of the art and will provide a significant boost to the local community and economy within St Kilda’s homeland”.

The Saints are the most supported club along the bay. The Bay2Business Program will have a major focus on networking with other local business to establish new opportunities. Peninsula Sports Medicine Group look forward to working with these businesses to drive local economies and local jobs for the benefit of mutual growth.

For more information on the Bay2Business program visit the website.

To make an appointment with your Physiotherapist you can BOOK ONLINE or call your local clinic.

Edithvale Physiotherapy Clinic helping the EDI-ASP EAGLES to fly

Edithvale Physiotherapy Clinic (part of Peninsula Sports Medicine Group) is pleased to announce its new partnership with Edithvale-Aspendale Football and Netball Clubs.

Peninsula Sports Medicine Group has been involved in AFL within the local community for over 28 years with many of its physiotherapists having previously been part of elite clubs like St Kilda.

Edithvale Physiotherapy Clinic brings a high level of expertise to the table. The Eagles teams will be looked after by Physiotherapists, Daniel Browne and Leroy Haines.

Daniel Browne

Daniel holds a Bachelors degree from Monash University where he graduated with honors. Daniel has also completed his Certificate III and IV in Fitness, as well as being an accredited AUSTSWIM swimming instructor. Daniel has also been involved with elite sports as a clinician securing a position at the AFL Women’s draft academy for the 2016/17 season, as well as more recently being selected as a physiotherapist at the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games working athletes from weight lifting, para weight lifting, badminton and wrestling.

Leroy Haines

Leroy holds a Masters of Physiotherapy from Griffith University, having previously completed a Bachelors Degree in Exercise and Sports Science at Deakin University. Leroy’s areas of expertise include back and neck pain, headaches, overuse and tendon injuries, ACL and knee rehabilitation (having had an ACL reconstruction himself in 2009), sporting injuries and strength and conditioning.In addition to clinical work Leroy has worked with many sporting clubs across cricket, soccer, AFL, rugby and athletics.


Lachlan Goodison, Director, from Peninsula Sports Medicine Group, said the partnership reflects the strong commitment to community sport within Melbourne’s south.

“We’re looking forward to working with The Eagles coaching and playing groups to provide the latest evidence based knowledge, education and hands-on physio skills to assist in a successful 2018 campaign”

“We are absolutely passionate about being ingrained in our local community. Being injured is a frustrating time for any player. Actually talking to players about how injuries occur, the causes, how injuries can be prevented and what they should do to ensure an optimal recovery is a really important part of what we deliver”.

To make an appointment contact Edithvale Physiotherapy Clinic on 9772 3322.

2018 Train the Trainers Night – a great success!

On Monday 23rd April, Peninsula Sports Medicine Group hosted the 2018 Train the Trainers Night.

This annual event was well attended by local football club trainers from the MPNFL (Mornington Peninusla Nepean Football League) and the FDJFL (Frankston and District Junior Football League).

The Train the Trainers Night is aimed at sharing the latest best practice information on game day injury support across both junior and senior football. Participants received information on concussion testing protocols, practical advice on foam roller usage as well as the latest taping techniques.


Concussion Testing Protocols

“The night was a great success. We are committed to sharing our knowledge to help trainers deliver best practice care for their players. It was fantastic to see so many trainers from clubs all over the Peninsula taking part” said Lachlan Goodision, Peninsula Sports Medicine Group Director and Sports Physiotherapist.

An impressive line-up of speakers and experts with decades of experience were present including Jon Park and Lachlan Goodison, Sports Physiotherapists from Peninsula Sports Medicine Group, Dr Liam Geraghty, Sports Physician from MP Sports Physicians and Paul Karak, Podiatrist from Core Podiatry Group.

Knee Taping

Shoulder Taping

“We aim to make the night as practical and hands on as possible. Trainers have the opportunity to share real-life situations that we can then help them to analyse and provide advice on best practice management” said Lachlan Goodison.


Sports trainers play a critical role within sporting clubs in the provision of treatment and advice to players and coaches. Ensuring their knowledge is kept up to date provides them with the tools to keep sport safer for the team allocated to their care.

Foot/Ankle Taping

Thank you also to Peninsula Sports Medicine Group Physiotherapists, Cameron Bicknell, Simon Johnson and Emma Iacovou for sharing their expertise, Elastoplast for supplying all tape at the event and to all the participants. We look forward to hosting you again in the future.







Are you at risk of sustaining a groin injury?

With pre-season training underway, it is important to be mentally and physically ready for the season ahead. Lower limb injuries, including groin injuries, are common for many of our winter sports especially those that involve running, sudden change of direction and kicking – like soccer and AFL.


Peninsula Sports Medicine Group provides us with some insight into the reasons why you might be at an increased risk of sustaining a groin injury:

Previous Injury

If you have had a previous groin injury that lasted more than one week in the previous season, you have three times higher injury risk (Maffey & Emery, 2007; van Beijsterveldt A, Tak I, Langhout R, 2017). This highlights the importance of a thorough and complete rehabilitation program following any injury, even those that you only feel for a week.

Reduced Total Range of Movement of the Hip

Physiotherapists with Peninsula Sports Medicine Group can help measure the total angle your hips can rotate. If the range is restricted, then there is an increased risk of developing a groin injury (Tak et al., 2017). This is often more apparent in older athletes, but if found in any athlete this should be addressed. It has been shown that non-injured amateurs and professional footballers have symmetrical sports specific hip range of motion, whereas, athletes with long-standing adductor-related pain had 28% less range on their injured side – this may hinder proper energy transfer while kicking.

Our physiotherapists are well trained to help increase your hip range of movement with manual therapy and exercises.

Weak Hip Muscles

Specifically, weakness of the hip adductors has been shown to put athletes at risk of groin injuries (Whittaker, Small, Maffey, & Emery, 2015). That said, all the muscles around the hip play a significant role in preventing injuries to the lower limb. For example, poor neuromuscular control of gluteus medius and other hip muscles has been associated with hip and knee injuries (Cowan, Crossley, & Bennell, 2009; Tak et al., 2017). Our clinicians are well set up to provide suitable exercise programs to help with both the control and strength of an athlete’s hip.

Bony Changes

While changes of the hip bones can often be found when there is hip pain, there are some important things to keep in mind. As these lower hip range of movement is more strongly correlated with symptoms than with the presence of bony changes. It has also been shown that bony changes are more prevalent in footballers who started to play more frequently (>4x/wk) at the age of 12 than those who started at a later age. While these bony changes are in those with and without symptoms (like pain), it should also be known that hip changes do not impact the long-term outcomes. In fact, rehabilitation has been shown to have a better return to play time when compared to surgical intervention.

If you need help with a groin injury or feel you are at risk of developing a groin injury then you should seek an appointment. There are many things that can play a role in injury risk and they all should be assessed and addressed to allow athletes to enjoy playing their sport.

For more information or to make an appointment, you can BOOK ONLINE or call your local clinic.



Cowan, S. M., Crossley, K. M., & Bennell, K. L. (2009). Altered hip and trunk muscle function in individuals with patellofemoral pain. British Journal of Sports Medicine, 43(8), 584–588.
Maffey, L., & Emery, C. (2007). What are the Risk Factors for Groin Strain Injury in Sport? Sports Medicine, 37(10), 881–894.
Tak, I., Engelaar, L., Gouttebarge, V., Barendrecht, M., Van Den Heuvel, S., Kerkhoffs, G., … Weir, A. (2017). Is lower hip range of motion a risk factor for groin pain in athletes? A systematic review with clinical applications. British Journal of Sports Medicine, 51(22), 1611–1621.
van Beijsterveldt A, Tak I, Langhout R, et al. (2017). Risk Factors for Groin Injuries in Elite Male Soccer Players. Br J Sports Med, 51:400., 2017–2018.
Whittaker, J. L., Small, C., Maffey, L., & Emery, C. A. (2015). Risk factors for groin injury in sport: An updated systematic review. British Journal of Sports Medicine, 49(12), 803–809.