Dean Hammond would love to find himself in demand over the coming weeks.

The former Albion skipper is helping footballers at all levels work on fitness and technique on a one-to-one basis in readiness for next season. Or the end of this campaign.

He might also have another crack at a playing comeback with Worthing after signing just a few days before the 2019-20 campaign was shut down.

Hammond, who came through the youth ranks at Albion and had two stints with the club, says he has started to enjoy football again after the obvious disappointment of his professional career coming to an end.

And part of that comes from embracing his enjoyment of keeping super fit.

He proved he is in great shape by turning up to join old mate and current Worthing boss Adam Hinshelwood on a hastily-arranged 26-mile run from Selsey to Woodside Road recently.

But the day job now is all about adding to his client book which already includes his former Albion colleague Adam El-Abd.

Hammond, now 37, said: “I’ve always loved my fitness.

“I’ve always stayed in shape, it’s something I’ve got a passion for.

“I’ve started my fitness business where I’m doing different things with people.

“The passion I really want to pursue and I’ve just got involved with is football fitness.

“It’s individual coaching, passing on some knowledge and experience and combining that with the fitness side of the game plus some individual skills, individual development.

“I’m really enjoying that and I feel like I’ve got a lot to offer.

“I’d love to pass on some knowledge to younger players or older players coming towards the end of their careers and who are maybe looking to prolong their career.

“I know what it’s like. Older players can get forgotten when their careers are over.

“I’m enjoying helping people and it’s good fun.”

El-Abd is now with Stevenage and Hammond’s goal is to help him remain in the game for as long as he can.

He said: “There’s a variation between training Adam, a professional footballer coming towards the twilight of his career but still fit and healthy and sharp and wants to play and stay in the game to working with youngest kids just starting out on their journey. They are all different individuals.



“I think there is an opportunity now with players in League One, Two, National League, lower.

“Those players won’t be touching a ball in a group.

“I can be there helping with technique, working with the ball and keeping their fitness up.”

Hammond enjoyed promotions with Southampton and Leicester and was part of the Foxes’ squad when they won the Premier League under Claudio Ranieri in 2015-16.

But, asked for an influence in terms of coaching, there is one he quickly picks out from the “loads” who have had a positive bearing on him.

The Hastings-born midfielder said: “The one who would stand out in terms of technique coaching would be Dean Wilkins.

“When I worked with Deano at Brighton and Southampton, his knowledge of the game and the detail in his coaching was something that has always stayed with me.

"I use that approach in my training now. He was a really big influence.”

Like many people, Hammons is intrigued to see what sort of Premier League emerges after the 15-week Covid-19 layoff.

But he points out: “Everyone is in the same boat. No one is doing anything really different.

“No one has got any secrets on how to train and how to get fit.

“The tempo of the games might be slower and not having fans will also make games slower. It’s going to be a challenge.

“All the players are going to be fit but there is a difference to match sharpness. It will take a bit of time.

“They have got a few weeks to train again and it is almost a pre-season.”

Hammond also expects a high level of self-policing as players keep fit once the season is under way again.

Will they have the same access to such recovery aids as ice baths or even massages after matches?

Hammond said: “It’s a great question. I think it will have to be different. I don’t know if you will have the ice baths or maybe even the massages.

“The clubs may think it is okay to do that.

“But I think there will be a lot of self-management. Players will have to take responsibility.

“They might say, ‘Right, I have to recover with an ice bath at home or, instead of a day off, do a light recovery session within the training ground or at home’.

“There will be a lot of self-management and responsibilities put back on to the players, I think.”

Hammond’s own self-management left him in shape to help Hinshelwood and a couple of colleagues do their run on the hottest weekend of the year recently.

It was supposed to be part of the drive to raise £43,000 needed by Worthing for stadium improvements.



Such was the success of the appeal, that target had already been hit by the time they put on their running shoes. But all funds are still welcome.

That impressive response may well have been encouraged by Hinshelwood’s very public promise to run from his home in Selsey to the ground in full kit and on dodgy knees if response to the appeal was good.

This is an important summer for Worthing. They were seven points clear when the Isthmian League season was halted but they have adopted the hashtag #futuresbright and are keen to maintain momentum.

They would love Hammond to be part of it.

He said: “Last season must have been the shortest comeback in history!

“I was training for about three weeks with the group and I signed on until the end of the season with eight games to go.

“It was just to bring a little bit of experience and be around the players at training and help them get over the line.

“They were doing fantastic and were in a great position.

“Unfortunately, the season was cancelled and it was null and void so it didn’t quite happen.

“Will I sign again? I don’t know yet. I feel fit and healthy and I was enjoying training again.

“I felt like I got my love back for the game again, which is nice.

“I’m speaking to Hinsh at the moment and we will see what the future holds.

“Who knows what is happening with football at the moment?”