Defender on his summer programme
You will, literally, be seeing less of defender Tom Parkes this season!
On his own admission, he has deliberately shed a few pounds over the summer after words from manager Darrell Clarke at the end of last season.
"I did a lot of running before we reported back for pre- season training, just to get fit and to lose a little bit of weight.
"While it was my own decision to lose the weight, I have to admit to taking a little bit of 'stick' about my fitness levels.
"The gaffer pulled me and told me that I needed to sort myself out, so I took what he said on board and now I'm looking forward to the season.
"The intention was to come back and prove a point that I was raring to go and to get this club back into the league.
"We were all given a summer programme, in any case, and I followed that. However I also did a great deal of my own routines which included a lot of long distance running.
"I've come back and into pre-season training and really feel the benefit, especially when I'm running. Carrying too much weight can make you feel bad about yourself in any case, so the fact that I have lost
weight helps me massively."
Now two weeks into pre-season training, he's very positive about how things have gone.
"It's been tough, as you would expect, especially during the first week. The second week has been very similar but, as a team, we have bonded well and we are all wanting each other to do well in whatever we do in training."
The five new signings, he says, have settled in well.
"It's not taken them long; in fact it's as though they have been here for a couple of seasons and you wouldn't think they were new to the club.
"We have a great bunch of lads here at the moment and, hopefully, the team we have will do the job for the club next season."
Part two of this interview will appear on the website tomorrow.