Oxford United players report back for pre-season training

Banbury Cake: Gary Waddock will be back on the training ground with his Oxford United players when they report for pre-season today Gary Waddock will be back on the training ground with his Oxford United players when they report for pre-season today

GARY Waddock expects Oxford United’s players to report for duty in good condition as pre-season training begins today.

The squad will undergo a series of tests to gauge their fitness six weeks before the start of the new Sky Bet League Two campaign.

Only goalkeeper Ryan Clarke and midfielder Andy Whing, both recovering from injuries, will not take part.

The remainder, including Johnny Mullins, who has fully recovered from the foot problem which ruled the defender out of the final weeks of last season, have been following individual fitness routines during the close season.

All the talk over the past week has been about off-field matters, with United owner Ian Lenagan understood to be involved in takeover talks.

A consortium involving Mark Ashton and Darryl Eales is thought to be in advance talks with Lenagan, with a second group of Oxfordshire businessmen – led by Charlie Methven – publicly stating their interest also.

But – for now at least – attention can turn to the playing side of the club, and Waddock, the U’s head coach, is planning to hit the ground running.

He said: “The players have programmes to do in the off-season.

“I was in and out of the training ground during the summer and the players have been doing the same.

“They will come back in good condition.

“First we will do the testing with (head of sports science) Alasdair Lane to see where they are.

“Then on the training ground and working on the fitness side of things, then team shape.

“You are looking for it all to come together when the season kicks off.”

The sport has advanced significantly since Waddock was a player in the 1980s and 1990s, when pre-season sessions involved long cross-country runs.

United’s players will be working with footballs from the beginning, but the U’s chief made it clear that did not mean it would not be tough.

“For me, footballers need to work on the ball, whether that’s a physical session or not,” he said.

“They are out from day one.

“It won’t be easy, put it that way. Hard work can be done on the balls because I want us to be a hard-working team.”

Having taken over in March during the midst of United’s miserable run-in to last season, the next few weeks will be the first opportunity for Waddock to spend significant time working with the players.

The former Wycombe boss is raring to get started, but the players will already have an idea of what is required.

He said: “Pre-season is a good place, we’ll come in and everybody looks forward.

“There will be a change in terms of training, but the players have already seen that to a degree.

“They have had a taste of how I plan to structure a training session, it won’t be a surprise to them.”

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Comments (6)

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9:41am Mon 30 Jun 14

dovepe says...

Come on You Yellows!
Come on You Yellows! dovepe
  • Score: 10

11:18am Mon 30 Jun 14

GRB says...

Players reporting back but we're still seriously short of numbers. I'd like to know if the potential takeover etc is causing a delay in signings or if GW is struggling to bring new players in. Maybe he has his targets and is prepared to be patient?
Players reporting back but we're still seriously short of numbers. I'd like to know if the potential takeover etc is causing a delay in signings or if GW is struggling to bring new players in. Maybe he has his targets and is prepared to be patient? GRB
  • Score: 9

11:30am Mon 30 Jun 14

Moobs says...

Whing is still injured? Another Wilder crock we should get rid of.

Waddock Out.
Whing is still injured? Another Wilder crock we should get rid of. Waddock Out. Moobs
  • Score: -14

3:06pm Mon 30 Jun 14

jonny1976 says...

Come on WadDICK get signing some decent players
Come on WadDICK get signing some decent players jonny1976
  • Score: -3

4:12pm Mon 30 Jun 14

William Stroudley, Sandford on Thames says...

Moobs wrote:
Whing is still injured? Another Wilder crock we should get rid of.

Waddock Out.
What a pathetic post but then if you are the MOOBS that used to post on Yellows Forum then its only to be expected.
[quote][p][bold]Moobs[/bold] wrote: Whing is still injured? Another Wilder crock we should get rid of. Waddock Out.[/p][/quote]What a pathetic post but then if you are the MOOBS that used to post on Yellows Forum then its only to be expected. William Stroudley, Sandford on Thames
  • Score: 7

8:50am Tue 1 Jul 14

Bumble08 says...

I for one am hoping that it is the potential takeover that is holding up the signing of players, although its not as if we are going out there and paying good money for any of them and we have a wage cap that we can't exceed so we should still be able to bring a few in.

It does sound like the club is having a bit of an overhaul which is no bad thing, we need to get on with the playing staff side of it though as we don't won't to be going in to game one and introducing the players to each other in the changing rooms.

Big 6 months for Waddock I feel...
I for one am hoping that it is the potential takeover that is holding up the signing of players, although its not as if we are going out there and paying good money for any of them and we have a wage cap that we can't exceed so we should still be able to bring a few in. It does sound like the club is having a bit of an overhaul which is no bad thing, we need to get on with the playing staff side of it though as we don't won't to be going in to game one and introducing the players to each other in the changing rooms. Big 6 months for Waddock I feel... Bumble08
  • Score: 3
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