Shropshire Star

Shrewsbury Town coaching staff looking at more than just results in pre-season

Pre-season is the time of year all football managers want to have with their teams.


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It is no different at Shrewsbury Town this year as Paul Hurst and Chris Doig oversee the summer work put in by the Salop players as they bid to get themselves in the best shape possible ahead of the league season commencing on August 10.

Made up of hard running, tactical work and friendly matches intended to help build up a base level of fitness and 'robustness' ahead of the gruelling 46-game campaign ahead.

Managers who come into the job midway through a season often bemoan the lack of time to work on the training ground which you can only do in pre-season or during an international break.

And Chris Doig, Shrewsbury assistant coach, has said the results in the games do not mean anything as it is all about the 'bigger process'.

He said: "In general, it is really important to get that bank of fitness behind you while aligning that with the principles that you want to work to from a tactical perspective.

"It is using this time to try and get over them without having the disruption of having to win three points at the end of the week.

"There are games in pre-season, but results don't really mean anything. You want to win, but there is a bigger process to it all.

Obviously, when the season starts the mentality is about that game at the end of the week.

"So you have less time to really work on those kind of fitness things, and the tactical things the same, everything is about recovery and preparation and all that kind of stuff.

"It is really important. We have got to try and make the most of it because obviously at the moment, we don't have a full squad.

"We are working with limited numbers, and it is trying to get stuff into them that we can, but by the end of pre-season hopefully, we have a group of players who are aligned in how we want to play and will have a physical preparation."

Town will play their first pre-season friendly this weekend when they make the trip to Brackley Town.

Shrews have five other games lined up, which will see them play mixed levels of ability - from Leicester in the Premier League to Oldham Athletic in the National League.

"It is about getting a high level of fitness, but it is more about creating robustness to have availability throughout the season," Doig continued.

"We have changed the structure really of pre-season, in terms of we moved a game, because of the fitness factor. Training is more controllable than what a game would be.

"If someone gets to a certain point and they are starting to feel it, you can just pull them out of it, but if you are in a game and you have to chase a ball over the top and your hamstring goes that is not ideal.

"Really it is about building a robustness that is what you are trying to build. The ability to be able to withstand high loads and repeat that through the season."