AFLW physiotherapy insights

Empowering Athletes: Exploring AFLW Physiotherapy with Alex McVeigh

In this enlightening podcast, we delve into AFLW physiotherapy with Alex McVeigh, the Adelaide Crows’ dedicated physiotherapist. Armed with a master’s in advanced clinical physiotherapy in sports, McVeigh shares his journey from a 16-year-old’s ankle sprain to a pivotal role in the AFLW community. AFLW physiotherapy insights are at the forefront of our discussion.

In Episode 46 of the Prepare Like A Pro Podcast, I am speaking with Alex McVeigh, a Physio at the Adelaide Crows AFLW side. Alex is a sports & exercise physiotherapist from Adelaide, and he holds a master’s in advanced Clinic Physiotherapy (Sports) from the University of South Australia.

He’s worked at the Adelaide Crows FC as the physiotherapist for the past 3 years across the development, SANFL & AFL programs. He also consults clinically with a particular focus on injuries of the lumbo-pelvic-hip complex and lower limb as well as being involved in research projects at the University of South Australia. Our conversation is packed with AFLW physiotherapy insights, shedding light on the intricacies of player care and injury management in the AFLW arena. AFLW physiotherapy insights play a crucial role in McVeigh’s approach to his work, and he shares valuable perspectives on the challenges and rewards of his role within the AFLW community.

Highlights from the episode:

  • Alex’s football journey from the start to now.
  • The different demands for female and male athletes.
  • How his mentor Steve Saunders has helped shape his career and how he applies the learnings in his practice.
  • Alex provided insight into his approach to rehabilitating players for AFL football and what preventative measures are important.
  • His business with Steve Saunders and about their new clinic opening in Melbourne.
  • The challenge the 2020 COVID season brought.
  • Why triple extension exercises are generally overused and what needs more attention in the weights room.
  • The importance of having an individualized strength & conditioning program for managing past injuries and preventing re-injury.
  • How important work experience is when it comes to working in elite sport.

Discovering the Passion

McVeigh’s venture into physiotherapy began unexpectedly. A 16-year-old ankle sprain led him to merge his love for sports and fascination with the human body. Initially eyeing engineering, McVeigh’s pivot during year 11 set him on a path seamlessly combining his interests.

Education and Early Career

With a master’s from the University of South Australia, McVeigh entered private practice. Catching the Adelaide Crows’ attention, he commenced his physiotherapist journey in 2018, part-time, overseeing the treatment of emerging talents and showcasing dedication to nurturing the next athlete generation.

The Role in AFLW

Now the Adelaide Crows AFLW team’s physiotherapist, McVeigh addresses injuries and collaborates closely with the strength and conditioning coach. In this unique position, he sheds light on the distinctive demands and challenges faced by female footballers.

Training Insights for Success

McVeigh emphasizes foundational exercises for injury prevention in the AFLW, where players are part-time due to budget constraints. Finding balance is critical, and he advocates a holistic approach, considering strength training in various movement planes to build robust athletes.

Transition and Future Plans

As the podcast unfolds, McVeigh reveals his move to Melbourne, marking the end of his Adelaide Crows tenure. He shares plans to start a clinic, contributing further to physiotherapy. Despite challenges, including a recent grand final loss, McVeigh’s passion and commitment to player welfare remain unwavering.

Empowering Through Knowledge

The Prepare Like a Pro podcast, aligning with a mission to empower athletes, brings industry experts to strengthen the AFL community. McVeigh’s journey exemplifies dedicated professionals’ impact in fostering resilience, continuous learning, and optimal performance.


In conclusion, Alex McVeigh’s story inspires aspiring physiotherapists and athletes. His trajectory from a sporty teenager with an ankle sprain to a pivotal figure in AFLW physiotherapy highlights the transformative power of passion and dedication. As the AFLW evolves, physiotherapists like McVeigh play an increasingly pivotal role in shaping athletes’ health and success.

People mentioned:

  • Steve Saunders
  • Mark Zazzana
  • Mark Jones
  • Erin Phillips

Listen: iTunes | IGTV | Spotify

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