John Lucas is “really excited” to join back up with manager Ryan Lowe as he arrives at Preston North End as the new Head of Physical Performance.
John, 37, has worked with the gaffer previously at Bury FC and Plymouth Argyle, where the two experienced promotion together.
Choosing to leave the latter in September 2021 for a move closer to home to join Salford City, John has now taken over the reins as head of the PNE fitness department.
Speaking to iFollow PNE, he said: “I’m really excited. Obviously it’s really good to be at such a big football club, a very historic football club with a great infrastructure.
“I’m coming to work with the manager who I’ve got quite a long relationship with previously at other clubs as a manager and as a player, so I’m really excited.
“We didn’t need to think long and hard about the decision, and like I said I’m just really happy to be here and happy to be back working with Ryan, and looking forward to working with the staff and the players at the club.”
Part of his excitement also comes due to the “big buzz” around the club at the moment, with John citing the amount of season tickets sold as another pulling factor in him choosing to swap Salford for Euxton.
His knowledge and prior relationship with the manager, though, is ultimately key in that the pair know how each other operate in their respective roles.
He added: “It’s about relationships within clubs, certainly Ryan knows how I like to work, and ultimately I know how Ryan likes to work - the physical aspect of his football philosophy.
“Obviously you’ve seen how he likes to play and the style of play that he’s going to try and embed within the football club.
“It’s an understanding of the physical emphasis of that philosophy, so it’s really good I know how he works, he knows how I work, and it’s not a case of ripping anything up, it’s about continuing the good work that’s already been done and already in place at the football club.”
Taking over from Dr Tom Little, who had been at the club for many years, John has already got to work – setting up meetings with the staff and getting in touch with the players, who have an existing programme in place for the off-season.
His influence will of course come more to the fore when the squad make their return in pre-season, and John explained what exactly his role will be at the club.
He said: “It's heading up all the physical aspects within the football club and obviously looking to a multifaceted approach.
“That’s the pitchwork, the gym-based work, the nutrition, how we prepare, how we recover.
“That’s also maximising the staff that’s already in place here as well and empowering them, help guide them and ultilise their expertise, knowledge and experience to ultimately keep that player-centred approach.
“Everything that we do is led to ultimately players performing on a Saturday at three o’clock, or a Tuesday evening, or whenever the game is.
“It’s utilising all them aspects, utilising the staff and empowering the staff to ultimately support the manager’s philosophy and make sure that we’re physically prepared, physically robust to handle what’s going to be a bit of a different season this year coming up with the World Cup in the middle of it.”
You can watch John's full interview on iFollow PNE for free above.