Winger looking forward to the new campaign
As we enter the final days of pre-season before the new campaign gets underway on Saturday at Exeter City, winger Ellis Harrison has spoken of his delight at the way the team have performed in the recent friendlies.
Harrison, who has only featured in two pre-season games, feels the team look strong and are ready to go: “I’ve only played two matches while the other lads have played 3 or 4 so I’m not feeling as fit as everybody else but the games we’ve had have been good and we’ve performed well.
“Reading was always going to be a tough game but overall we did well and got a good result. We showed good discipline and showed what we can do going forward so as a group we’re happy with how it went. We scored a couple of good goals against good players and it was pleasing to see that happen.
“Despite not being at my fittest personally, this week will get me through. I’ll work hard and do extra bits to make sure I am ready for selection on Saturday.”
Manager John Ward will dictate the schedule for all the players this week and there will be a careful balance between training well and resting ahead of the big game. With a significant number of injuries having plagued the squad over the last couple of weeks, Harrison believes it’s vital the work undertaken by the team is right.
Ellis said: “It’s up to the gaffer what goes on but obviously it’s very important that we rest and recover as well as we can. We have a lot of young lads around like myself and we don’t want to tire ourselves before we’ve even kicked a ball and pick up more injuries. After each training session we’ll rest right to make sure we’re feeling fit.
“Pre-season has been good and I think we all feel ready to kick-on now at Exeter.”
Ward has made no secret of the fact that the footballs have been out for almost the entirety of pre-season training and it’s something that has encouraged the players as they have built up fitness levels.
Harrison added: “The balls may not have been out for the first couple of days really but they were certainly out early and it does help when you know that you’re not doing fitness work without them.
“It has been my hardest pre-season so far as I’ve only been around the first team in the last year but I’ve enjoyed it. I’ve had to work hard but it has to be done to get us in the right condition and I feel good now ahead of the season.”
Gasheads have snapped up the entire allocation of tickets for the game against the Grecians this weekend although 100 more are being released to group 1 priority members on Tuesday. With over 1000 Rovers fans set to descend on Devon this weekend:
“We heard that tickets had sold out within a few hours which is brilliant and it shows us what sort of support we’re going to have all year.
“It’s exciting for everybody and we know that we’ve got to do as well as we can for them, not just on Saturday but for the whole season.
Excitement levels are high all around the club and the focus now is on starting well in August: “There is a lot of games in the first month and they’ll come really quickly after Exeter.
"We’ve got the cup game [against Watford], a few other home matches and the Newport game, so we’ve got a busy few weeks but it’s good to get back to football after the summer. We want to start as well as we can and see where we get.”