Manager on the summer break
The Bristol Rovers squad were in for the last time today to take part in a number of fitness tests before the summer break.
Players will have individual programmes to work on over the closed season, to make sure they come back to pre season fit and raring to go.
Manager John Ward said: “Today the whole squad will be taking part in fitness testing work, to give us facts and figures about where they are at this moment in time.
”It gives us a good monitor for when they return, and they will know that at the moment they are in good shape and over the next six or seven weeks they have to maintain that.
“At the back of their minds they will want to be in that first team come August 3rd and they will be working to get ready for that.
“Every player has their own programme for the summer, as it has to be individualised to give them the best chance of coming back in the best shape.”
The manager is hoping to have a few players back form injury for pre season, while others will be working hard over the summer to get closer to recovery.
John said: “The injured players are all at different stages, but we now have the experience of how to build those stages up.
“Some of them are going up to Lilleshall and through the summer period they have got a lot of build up work to do.
“Clarkson and Gill have a real good chance, if they work as well as they want to during the summer, with a bit of luck they should be back from the beginning.
“So with Matty Harrold as well, that gives me three new senior players to have around the squad.”
And Matt’s performance on Saturday can be used as inspiration for those injured players.
John said: “The last three weeks he has been bashing my door down, and we succumbed on Saturday, and said he could have a shirt and see how it goes – the rest of it is fairy tale stuff.
“It is great for me that he has that little reward, it has gone fantastically well and it lifts everybody up.
“One of the first people he celebrated with was Phil Kite, and quite right too, as he spends hours with these guys getting them on the right track.
“Matt is a good role model for those other guys going through the same thing.”
John hopes to tie down a few more of the current players over the next few days, and will not be making wholesale changes this summer.
He said: “We are really pleased with the way the squad is going, and we think there is a lot to build on, especially the spirit and the work ethic.
“We have been talking to Mark McChrystal and Steve Mildenhall, and hope that comes to fruition.
“There are one or two of the younger players who I still have to talk to – people like Ollie Clarke, who has pushed himself in to a good position.
“There is not going to be a huge influx of new faces. I know what I have got, and what they can and can’t do, and what we think they can improve upon.
“There is a future there and a good base for us to push on and improve this football club.”
The manager also confirmed that due to the ongoing injury situations and Football League rules, Scott Bevan and Adam Virgo’s future will be sorted out later in the summer.
For the full interview, visit Gas Player.