Heary: "The players came back in very good shape."
Manager Owen Heary says he was pleased with what he seen from his players as they returned to pre-season training today.
Despite the bad conditions the players trained for the first time in 2015 on the Sean Fallon centre before a session in the swimming pool in the Clarion hotel.
Today was the beginning of seven and a half weeks of preparations ahead of the start of the new season on March 7th when Rovers will take on last year’s runners-up Cork City at the Showgrounds.
Heary said: “The players came back in very good shape. They managed to get a run in and done considerably well given the conditions. It’s changed in this day and age as the players look after themselves during the off-season and come back in good shape. It was pleasing to see today that they done that.
“We have six weeks, the first few weeks is about building up stamina, building up fitness to make sure they last 90 minutes or 95 minutes at times. It’s important that we get that into them first before we work on speed and sharpness. Then we can work on shape and positions and things like that. So it is a long process but there’s thought gone into the process. That’s what we’ll be doing over the next six weeks.
“Today is only the first day so we’re not getting too carried away, we’re taking it one day at a time. They will be in tomorrow, then be off on Friday and on Saturday we will do a lot of testing to see how far they are off where they should be and where we need to be.”
On the pre-season friendlies the team will play: “The first few friendlies are just about getting match practice again. The timing of heading, of going into tackles and with a few different things you be a bit off. There’s a bit of rustiness you’ll need to get off in the first few games so I’m not too worried about the results in pre-season. Come the end of the pre-season we’ll be more working on shape, where players should be with and without the ball and that will come in for the first game. We will be hoping that the instructions we have given them come out on the pitch and we get results.”
He spoke about using the great facilities the club has and paid tribute to those who helped make this morning’s session possible: “I have to give a thank you to the lads that we here and went out onto the pitch, the lads that we here and the staff went out and swept it with shovels and brushes. You don’t normally get that with other clubs where everyone ropes in to help out. I am very grateful as it means we got a little bit of work done on the pitch and then the pool. The facilities are top notch, having the pool and the gym that they can use and having an astro. It’s very important that we have them.”
You can listen to the full interview here:
Have a look back over some pictures from today’s session in our gallery here: