MANAGER: It has helped us to establish a base – News

The first day of pre-season is often accompanied by the feeling of never having been away, as familiar faces gather to begin the process of preparing for the new campaign, with spirits and expectations high.

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Held in near-uncomfortable temperatures, today’s session had a lot to do with establishing a baseline with PhD students from the University of Salford recruited to help with the technical aspects of the sessions.

Part of the return to normality of life in a football club was the usual first interview with the coach, who admitted that it felt good to be back between the bustle of training and working with his group.

“It doesn’t feel like I’ve been away, and obviously you miss the games and you miss the grass stuff, but I spent a lot of days here over the summer,” he said.

“I’ve had a break, so I don’t feel like I’ve gone from one season to the next. There has been a lot to do, but I am very happy now that we are here.

“That’s why we’re in the game, to come back and get involved in training.”

“I actually just figured this out this morning, but this is my 40th preseason, which is crazy,” he added. “I know people will look at me and think I’m not old enough for that, but I’m sorry I am.

“It’s brilliant, and I’ve told all the players that they have to make sure they enjoy it because I wish I could keep doing it. Although I’m sure you sometimes think it’s horrible, I honestly wish I could keep doing it.

“I have to admit my knee screams just watching them sometimes, but I can’t complain. I’ve had a really good run, played more than I probably expected, but that’s what being involved in this game is all about.

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“The best thing to do is play, and the second best thing is to coach or coach. I have the second best, and that is not a complaint because I am very lucky and happy to be in this position. The good thing is that the boys seemed to be happy to be back at the club today too.

Having watched the players go through a series of tests at the Neil Center and in the gym, he explained the thinking behind the process on day one.

“It gives us an idea of ​​where they are physically and it gives us something we can look back on throughout the season,” he said. “It’s really about checking all your fitness levels, body composition, and checking to see if there’s any imbalance from your left to right side.

“They are a series of tests that help us take care of the players. We are very fortunate to have the University of Salford helping us.

“Some of the guys who have PHD to do have come, and it’s a bit double in the sense that we do the tests and they give us a real battery of results, but they also have access to professionals. footballers use that data for their course work.

“It works well both ways and is a really good way to assess our players to see where they are and where we need to improve their individual programs to help them get better.

“Give credit to Jamie Roper, who came on board with the S&C side of things. He has brought some fresh and brilliant ideas and is very interested in playing his part in the development of the group.

“Today was his day. I’ve told him that it’s the only Sports Science day he has, because the balls come out tomorrow. I’m really looking forward to getting started on that.”

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The most anticipated these days is that the players have completed their summer programs before what will be a month of intense training.

“They have come back in very good shape,” he confirmed. “Now you get that from your players.

“Gone are the days of abusing yourself for eight weeks and it’s up to the club to get you fit.

“Players have to get in shape, and over the summer they probably had two or three weeks where they had nothing to do, just stay in shape by swimming on vacation, walking, playing golf or whatever the guys do. footballers these days, and then they got their own programs where everyone had to start working.

“They’ve been doing that for about three or four weeks, and that started with one or two days a week before building up.

“In this last week they’ve done something on most days with running or body strength work, and hopefully that’s given them a little bit of grounding as they come back, so we can go straight to soccer work.

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“In days gone by, you would probably go a week or ten days without seeing a soccer ball, and it was actually a blessing when the balls came out.

“The balls will come out on Thursday and it will be a mix of football work, pretty generic stuff, it won’t be anything related to team form or anything like that, it will get players back to using their feet and thinking and making football decisions mixed with the physical running they will have to do.

“I really want to see it all. This is the first preseason I’ve worked with Jamie, and he, Gav and I have put together the schedule. We’ll mix that with the games and hopefully they’ll be in a decent level of fitness to start the season.”

And he forewarned him with his thoughts on what needs to be accomplished on the physical side of things in the coming weeks.

“People think they need to peak on July 30, but I don’t,” he insisted. “I want them to peak in the last ten games of the season because that’s when it really matters.

“We need to get them to a good level so that we can start work in August and then we can put ourselves in a good position.

“Then come the last ten games, I hope the players are properly ready to peak at that point so we can go and achieve what we would all like to achieve.”

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