Baraclough discusses pre-season plans
Sligo Rovers manager Ian Baraclough has revealed some of his pre-season plans ahead of the 2014 season.
The Rovers boss has said his players will report back for duty the week beginning 20 January for the start of pre-season training.
The Bit o’ Red could play seven or eight matches prior to the start of the Airtricity Premier Division on Saturday 8 March against Athlone Town.
Baraclough said: “I like players to have an optimum amount of minutes playing in pre-season so we will balance it throughout the matches.
“It is about ensuring the players get enough minutes while also not going overboard as well because there is a full year ahead. It is important to be fully prepared for the first game but also for the entire season.
“The Setanta Cup match with Crusaders also comes into our thoughts with that taking place almost two weeks prior to the league season.
“We have given the players a programme for the off-season based on fitness, strength and conditioning. We don’t want to start two weeks behind when they return for pre-season and we should be able to quickly hit the ground running and soon be onto ball work.
“I couldn’t fault any of the players last January when they returned for pre-season. They were all ready to dive into things and I expect it will be the same this year.”
Last season Rovers played six friendly matches as well as a Setanta Cup game with Glentoran prior to the opening league encounter.
Baraclough has lined up a similar schedule for 2014 with details set to be confirmed in the next couple of weeks.
In further news to excite the Rovers supporters, the 43-year-old has said he is nearing another new signing.
He revealed: “There is a player we are going to tie up shortly. I can’t reveal their identity just yet but he is an attacking player and it should be finalised next week. It is another good development for us and we're happy with the progress on that front. “
The first pre-season match of the year is set to take place on the weekend of Saturday 1 February.
www.sligorovers.com will have news of the full schedule shortly.