Fleetwood Town manager Steven Pressley has warned his players that anyone who does not pass a pre-season fitness test will have to forfeit the final week of their holiday to get up to speed.
That’s the message from Town’s no-nonsense boss, who made his third goalkeeper signing of the summer over the weekend in the former AFC Fylde number one Matt Urwin.
Before the Town players went on their end-of-season break, having completed their dramatic escape from relegation in League One, manager Pressley and his staff gave each of them a fitness plan.
They were warned then that anyone who did not follow the programme and report back in good shape would face an extra week of pre-season fitness work. The players are officially due to start pre-season training a week on Wednesday, June 29.
But ex-Scotland defender Pressley has called them in for a fitness check today and tomorrow as he cracks the whip. Any players who fail to meet the standards required will be forced to spend an additional week at the club’s Poolfoot Farm training base in Thornton catching up with their team-mates.
Next season’s Football League fixtures will be released on Wednesday and Pressley wants his players to be as fit as possible before the new campaign begins in August.
He told The Gazette: “The players are in on Monday and Tuesday for testing, then they will be back in for pre-season from the Wednesday of the following week.
“Any player who does not meet the required level of testing will be in training right through from June 22 to June 29.
“That will be the case even if they have holidays booked.”
One of Pressley’s pre-season goals is to get the players’ fitness levels up to the highest possible standard, hence his strict warning.
However, he will show more lenience towards new signings who were unaware of the manager’s ‘pre-pre-season’ regime .
Pressley added: “We have given a little bit of dispensation to some of the new signings, those who we have signed a little bit later than scheduled and who were not made aware of the fitness plans.”