Tuesday 03 July 2007
The Dons are back in training
The AFC Wimbledon squad started preparations for the up-coming season on Saturday, with their first training session after the summer interval. Under the watchful eye of the new management team headed by Terry Brown, the Donsí players were put through their paces at the clubís new training facility in New Malden.
With the first pre-season friendly against Tooting and Mitcham United only two weeks away, Terry had his first chance to assess fitness levels and introduce his own training methods as he formulates his plans for capturing promotion to the Nationwide Conference South.
The session was split into two, with a lunch break in the middle. The first session was spent measuring current fitness levels by running as many laps of the pitch as possible in a fixed time. This was done in heavy rain and before a football was even kicked! The squad was split into two groups and, while discretion prevents us saying who came last, the runaway winner in the first group was Robin Shroot, with Steve Ferguson leading the way home in the second.
Meanwhile, Terry, armed with a clipboard, made notes about their performances, no doubt to ensure that they show improvement in every session.
After lunch, the squad turned to ball work while a trial game was played a team of would-be Dons, who were pitted against the under 19s. With hardly any time to get to know each other the triallists faced a difficult job making an impression in limited time. The heavens opened as the game got underway, making life even more difficult for them. "Each player will probably only touch the ball about a dozen times during the trial, so they need to make the most of their chance. It isnít easy for them, thatís for sure." said Terry. Nonetheless, he was sufficiently impressed by a couple of players to invite them back for another look.
With training over, assistant manager Stuart Cash said, "I was very pleased with how everything went today as the starting fitness levels were good. The players know that there is more to be done, however, and that training next week will be very demanding as we build on todayís good start."