Preston North End goalkeeper Declan Rudd says that he and his cohort of stoppers may not be doing the same running as the outfield players, but he is still feeling well-worked!
Speaking at the club’s Irish training camp, the Lilywhites’ custodian said that the pre-season preparations were going well and that he was starting to feel the benefits of the work so far.
“I always say to the outfield players, when they say we have it easy, is that I would much rather run around in circles all day than dive around and have to get up every time!” He told iFollow PNE.
“No matter how hard you work in the off season, you come back, start diving around and you feel like you haven’t moved for six weeks.
“It is tough on your whole body, with your joints and muscles getting pounded every time you land on the floor, so it does take a bit of time to get used to that and get back into it, but nearly two weeks in now it is starting to feel we have been working hard.”
The team have now been together for a good few days, living out of each other’s pocket and this is something Dec believes is of benefit to them, as was the friendly at Cork City on Monday night.
“It is good to get out here together,” he continued. “It is good to be with the lads 24/7, so you get that bonding going.
“It was a good test on Monday. The Cork team caused us a bit of bother and really gave us a game and it was nice to be involved in an early pre-season game where it is quite competitive and it made us raise our game. After the first five minutes we realised it wasn’t just going to be a stroll around.
“The lads put it in; it is another 45 minutes under everyone’s belt and things are looking good.”
The next test sees Alex Neil take his side to AFC Fylde’s Mill Farm on Saturday afternoon and the former Norwich City man feels this will be a good test against a side on the up.
“You saw last year how well they did. Their rise has been magnificent, from where they came from to where they have got to now.
“You can tell be the structure they have got now; the stadium and the facilities they have got that they are a team who aspire to be higher than they are and it is never easy playing a team like that, because they are hungry and they work hard.
“There’s never a game against a team like that where you find it easy as they put their tackles in and work hard and we will have to make sure we do the same and treat it right,” he added.
There’s an extended chat with Declan available if you click on the video at the top of the page with over seven minutes of him discussing pre-season, team bonding and the upcoming fixtures - available without the need for subscription.