Gavin Cowan will not get AFC Telford squad to run up hills

Boss Gavin Cowan says his AFC Telford United players will put in plenty of hard yards during pre-season – but the days of hill running are long gone.

Gavin Cowan
Gavin Cowan

The Bucks began their preparations for the National League North campaign on Tuesday and were back training this morning.

In years gone by, the squad has ran up The Wrekin. This time around, Cowan is taking a ‘football specific’ approach.

“I’ve addressed the players and they’re bound to have butterflies in their tummy, but you have to feel the fear and do it anyway,” he said.

“Pre-season is tough, but you have to make it relevant and enjoyable – football specific – and then you’re on to a winner.

“You’ve got to work hard, get that fitness, but the days of running up hills are long gone.

“What we are going to be doing for the forthcoming weeks is making sure they are ready for the start of the season in August.

“It is more about team building than anything, those things show you about people.

“We’re relatively part-time so we haven’t got a massive amount of time – the footballs come out a bit earlier as we need to get messages across.”

Telford have had more than 20 players at the sessions so far – 15 are already contracted for next season.

Former fan favourite Dwayne Samuels and out-of-contract winger Elliot Newby have been training, while Market Drayton Town duo Judd Ellis and Joe Cuff have been given a chance to impress.

A couple of players have missed the first few sessions, though, due to being away on holiday.

On those, without giving names, Cowan added: “We’ve got a good group, though there’s more to come.

“It’s unacceptable for a player to be on holiday.

“It’s not like we’re two weeks to go until July – we’re in the last week of June and players shouldn’t be booking holidays at that time.

“We’ve got a couple that aren’t here and they know my feelings on that anyway.”

The Bucks’ first pre-season match is at Ellesmere Rangers on Saturday, July 7 (kick-off 3pm).

They are also playing Aston Villa, Wrexham and Shrewsbury Town before the season starts. The fixtures are being released on Wednesday.

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