A TALENTED footballer from Urmston was put through his paces at the world-class GSK Human Performance Lab on Friday [April 4], as he prepared to train with Leyton Orient FC.

Midfielder Robert Black, 17 - one of two players battling to win a year-long professional contract at Leyton Orient FC as part of Samsung’s Win A Pro Contract competition - was invited through the doors of the cutting-edge GSK Human Performance Lab in Brentford, London, to face a gruelling day of performance tests.

Following in the footsteps of elite athletes including triathlon’s Brownlee brothers, boxing’s Amir Khan, golf’s Rory McIlroy and footballers at Brentford FC, Robert was given a rare insight into the research assessments that professional athletes endure at the lab.

Robert, of Tintern Avenue, took part in a series of scientifically controlled assessments, including the cognitive and acceleration station – testing speed, acceleration and reaction times in simulated game situations - the lung-busting VO2 Max test and the Dynamometer strength station – measuring the force produced when extending and flexing the knee.

The assessments provided a detailed performance analysis of Robert’s capabilities, and the GSK sports scientists have sent these results to Orient’s manager Russell Slade as Robert and one other hopeful join the first-team squad for training this week.

Mark Langley, GSK Human Performance Lab general manager, said: “It’s great to work with Samsung and these young players.

“Our science team will give the three managers an in-depth understanding of the physiological and cognitive performance of each player, but more importantly, what can drive and improve their performance.”