Professional footballer Sam Johnstone paid Smart Fit Preston, on Campbell Street, a visit after it was announced the Preston-born-and-bred athlete has made the provisional England squad.Advertisement
Sam is preparing at the Preston gym for an intense summer training camp ahead of this years European Championships.
The West-Brom footballer has associated with the founder of Smart Fit, Andy Dee for three years now, coming down weekly to train at the city gym.
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Sam is a professional footballer who currently plays as goalkeeper for Premier League club West Bromwich Albion. A product of the Manchester United Academy, he has spent time on loan with Oldham Athletic, Scunthorpe United, Walsall, Yeovil Town, Doncaster Rovers, Preston North End and Aston Villa.
Sam told Blog Preston: “I first got introduced to Smart Fit from my family coming from Preston, I got into using Joe (a trainer at Smart Fit) who focuses on sport specific training.
“I come down from Manchester when I can as it’s great to train here, it’s run well, has great equipment, a really nice feel and it’s good to see everyone always working hard and getting along. They always make me feel welcome, Andy and Gaynor (the founders of Smart Fit) and the rest of the staff have really looked after me here.”
Andy Dee was interviewed on BBC West Midlands earlier in the week after it was announced Sam had made the impressive cut for the provisional team. He told the presenter that Sam had flown him out to Ibiza in 2019 to train while on a family holiday, ensuring he could maintain his fitness levels and stay in shape whilst on break from the club.
Andy said: “Sam comes to Smart fit because he’s a Preston lad and I have worked with his dad, Glen, previously. Also, I may be biased but we have the best trainers down here, in terms of Joe he’s sports specific which is what Sam wants.
“I don’t feel any pressure Sam coming to us because he is one of the boys, that’s the good thing. It’s a great feeling that he comes to train here when somebody of Sam’s stature he could go anywhere he wanted, especially coming from Manchester, so it’s a great feeling he uses Smart Fit. It’s great for the members, he is a really humble guy and mixes with our members, shaking everyone’s hands.”
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Sam was crowned with a sweep of recognition as West Brom announced their end of season awards as he won Albion’s Players’ Player of the Season and Supporters’ Player of the Season on the same day as being called to England’s provisional squad.
Personal trainer, Joseph Quartey who trains Sam weekly at the gym, was chuffed to see all his hard work and intense sessions pay off. Joe said: “It is challenging, I have to find exactly what works for Sam, week in week out I see changes in him. I’m overall really impressed.
“I have to make sure that in season he is getting better every time, but I’m not overloading the exercises. The exercises have to be important, not just fancy. Sam’s dad saw me training another client and thought it would be worthwhile trying me out as I come from a sports background. The most important thing is to stay grounded and make sure Sam gets better and make sure the sessions fit him.
“I plan the sessions and make sure he gets something out of it each time.”
Smart Fit gym located near the prison, is not a stranger to training professional athletes, with Lisa Whiteside, Commonwealth gold medal winner using the centres boxing facilities, including the ring. Michael Ramabeletsa another boxing professional, Danny Roccia, Bamberbridge football club goal keeper and Mark Strange, actor producer and martial artists all also train at the Preston gym.
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