Date: 19th June 2017 at 2:24pm
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There will be at least one amendment to Arsene Wenger’s backroom staff at Arsenal next season as Darren Burgess is to take up the role of director of high performance.

Currently working at Aussie rules club Port Adelaide, Burgess previously spent two years at Anfield as Liverpool’s head of fitness from 2010 to 2012, where he worked under the likes of Kenny Dalglish, Roy Hodgson and Brendan Rodgers.

Burgess admitted the decision to leave Port Adelaide, having done this once already during his career, hasn’t been an easy one.

He told the Adelaide website, via Sky Sports: ‘Reaching this decision has been one of the toughest decisions in my professional career. My family loves the lifestyle of Adelaide and more importantly we love everything about the Port Adelaide Football Club. When the opportunity came up to return to Port Adelaide I had no hesitation in returning. Port Adelaide is like family and once you’ve worked in this environment with so many outstanding people it is very difficult to leave.’

But the approach from Arsenal wasn’t one he could refuse.

Adding: ‘It’s especially difficult knowing the club is on the right path for sustained success both on and off the field. However, the opportunity to return to the English Premier League and work at one of the world’s most successful sporting organisations in Arsenal is an opportunity I simply couldn’t refuse. I look forward to continuing having a relationship with Port Adelaide from afar and thank the entire club for their support and many great memories over two stints.’

Burgess will reportedly continue with Port Adelaide for the remainder of the 2017 Aussie rules season and be involved in their pre-season ahead of the 2018 campaign but will be in place to start his Arsenal duties next month, in time for the start of the Gunners’ return to training.

According to Sky Sports, this wasn’t a decision made by the clubs hierarchy as Wenger personally ‘handpicked’ Burgess for the role.

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