Preston North End assistant manager Glynn Snodin has highlighted the influence a good pre-season can have on the rest of the league campaign.
‘Snods’ who was fulfilling media duties this afternoon whilst manager Simon Grayson undergoes an operation on his knee, acknowledges how important pre-season preparations were last season in the Lilywhites progression from finishing 14th to fifth in the space of a year.
Most of the North End playing staff had few injuries to contest with last season, with a lot of that down to the work the backroom staff put in during last years pre-season and throughout the campaign.
And with the tricky conditions on show over the last few days, Snods has acknowledged the good work done behind the scenes to prevent injuries.
“The backroom staff were magnificent last season,” North End’s second in command told PNE.Com.
“From the physios to the sport’s science department, the injury prevention that they do every morning really pays off and long may that continue.
“Yes it’s difficult for the gaffer to pick the team, with him having almost a fully fit squad every week but at the same time, it’s nice to have that headache.
“What with the hard ground because of the weather, it’s mainly blisters we’ve had to deal with, but apart from the odd calf niggle, the players are recovering well from pre-season training.
“It’s fantastic to stand and watch in these conditions but to play in, it’s very hard, and credit to the players, they’ve been fantastic like they were last season – they’ve hit it hard and had a go at it in the football work.”
Pre-season is well and truly underway for the Lilywhites now, after welcoming back Bailey Wright from his World Cup exploits last month.
And Snodin says that the up and coming tests against Chorley and Liverpool will be a welcome challenge now that every North End squad member is back reporting for training.
On the trip to Chorley tomorrow, Snodin said “We had a decent game down there last season and it’s a good first game for the boys with it being local, and there’s a bit of money for the local clubs as well which is nice.
“But it’s all about getting the fitness sorted out tomorrow night and making sure they put everything in for 45 minutes and do everything together as a team.”
“The Liverpool game will be brilliant for the lads to once again play against Premier League opposition, and with it being our second game of pre-season unlike last year when it was our first, the players will be better prepared for it this time around.”
It’s been 17 years since Snodin brought the curtain down on his playing career, and the former Doncaster Rovers man says that the pre-season work done now is a huge improvement compared to the work he did during the off-season.
And he also concedes that the players of today come back into pre-season training in a lot better shape than the footballers of yesteryear where in.
“It use to be just go out there and run until you’re sick!” joked Snods.
“There were hill runs, and long runs but now everything’s changed – we only probably had about five or six balls, but now you’ve got 30 balls that are going out which is great and that’s how it should be done.
“You can do as much running with a ball then you can off it, so it’s a lot better, but not necessarily easier.
“Players come back in a lot better shape nowadays - they aren’t drinking and they’re not eating curries and fish and chips every night.
“Now the hydration is right, and the nutrition is spot-on, so they do look after themselves because they know that it’s important that they have a good career and play as well as they can.”