McChrystal on training and pre season
Almost two weeks into pre season training and everyone appears to be enjoying the way things are going so far, though the words enjoy and pre season training don’t often sit well together!
Defender Mark McChrystal, who put pen to paper on a permanent deal this summer, says that things are going well.
“Everyone came back in good shape and all is going well so far. The footballs came out from day one, which was good. That makes a huge difference, especially as I recall pre seasons at some clubs where we didn’t see a football for two or three weeks!”
Unusually, there have been no new additions to the squad that finished last season so well, but with players returning from long term injury, and the team spirit remaining from the second half of the campaign, the signs are good for a successful start to the new season.
“The team spirit has carried over from last season. We were a close knit squad come the end of last season and the way results went and the way we performed meant that everyone was quite comfortable with each other. Nothing has really changed and we have come back same with the same squad and we are looking forward to the season.
“While there have been no new additions to the squad as yet, we do have a number of players returning from long term injury and so it is like having new signings on board.
“In addition we have a number of younger professionals training with us and they have slotted in well. They have come in with a great attitude and have all worked hard and integrated well.”
It means that manager John Ward has a balanced squad with a mix of youth and experience.
“At the end of last season it looked as though we had a very young squad, but the players returning from injury are all experienced professionals and excellent players so hopefully we can bring on the young lads, who can then step into the side without any problems.”
The squad head off to a Lincolnshire training camp next week, before kicking off a hectic schedule of six friendly games in a two week period.
“The week away is a good idea and gives the players time together. Naturally there will be a great deal of hard work as we prepare for the friendlies and the season ahead, but spending time together 24/7 for a week is an opportunity for everyone to bond together.
“With the new season just over a month away, the friendly games are important because that’s where we gain our match sharpness.”
Because of the way the side played in the second half of last season, expectations are high going into the new campaign.
“That’s only natural, but I think wherever you are expectations are always high at the start of a new season.
“With the new ground just a few years away, everyone is keen to see us promoted before we move. You want the expectation that comes with doing well and you want to push on and improve.”