Wednesday 24th July
Home - 7:45pm KO
This week the club’s website caught up with Assistant Manager Mikey Harris for an inside view on the Whites preparations for the upcoming Blue Square Bet South campaign.
Q: Today Olympic torch bearer and Whites supporter Liam Burnell brought the torch in to show the SCFC players and staff, 2012 is a huge year for British Sport, after last season’s FA cup exploits are you hoping the players will be inspired for more heroics this year?
MH: Of course! The FA cup run gave everyone involved a huge boost and it would be great to do well again in the cup competitions but our focus will be start how we finished last season in the league and build on our top ten finish.
Q: There has been some exciting signings over the summer, how are the new lads settling in?
MH: Chris, Theo and Jamie are all top lads. They have been professional ever since they walked through the building. All three of them had offers on the table from other clubs and they chose to come here which is great news for Salisbury City FC. They have all impressed in training and I’m looking forward to seeing them in a Whites shirt when the real stuff starts. Last season our defensive record was excellent but we simply didn’t score enough goals. I am certain these three players in addition to our existing attacking options will provide Whites fans with some serious entertainment this season.
Q: The squad is quite small at the moment, when should we expect to see more new faces?
MH: We won’t be working with a huge squad this season but are currently talks with some new faces and a couple of faces that Whites fans will recognise…! We hope to bring some good news very soon. Anyone that been to the first three friendlies will have seen we have used a lot of triallist’s and we have been impressed with a couple of the players that have come in, they will play a part in tomorrow’s game at Arlesey and then we will sit down with all of them. We also have the option of the loan market to bring in one or two talented young players.
Q: You’ve played three Friendlies to date, with a win, draw and a loss it has been a mixed start?
MH: Of course we want to win every game but at this stage of pre-season it’s not about results. The majority of the first team squad have played a combined total 90 mins each and with the inevitable changes the games can be become false. In the first half of pre-season it’s all about getting the players fitness levels up and preparing them physically for every aspect of the game.
Q: With that in mind what have you and the Gaffer been doing with the boys in training?
MH: The boys have been in Monday-Saturday every week. We are being very generous and giving them a Sunday off! We are following a detailed programme which involves several high intensity small sided games and 11v11 training matches which get progressively harder as the weeks go on. This allows the players to develop both physically and technically. Gone are the days where you don’t see a ball all pre-season, however we always like to throw in a few tough running sessions or as the gaffer calls them ‘raise the bar runs’! These are not only physically demanding but challenge the lads’ mental toughness! We like to call it a little bit of old school mixed with the new! It’s not just about the running though, the demands of the modern game mean players have to be physically strong and recover quicker. All players will have individual gym programmes and we are very fortunate that Parkwood Health and Fitness club allow the squad to utilise their fantastic facilities. Along with this we have an injury prevention strategy in place including core-stability, Flexibility and proprioception exercises to ensure we are doing everything we can to keep injuries to a minimum.
Q: On the injury front there have been a few of the squad missing from the pre-season games to date namely Chris Giles, Ryan Brett and Luke Ruddick, how are they progressing?
MH: Luke unfortunately fractured his foot over the summer, we were hoping he wouldn’t need an operation but unfortunately he does. It’s a huge blow for him as he’d worked really hard to put last year’s injury problems behind him. He won’t make the start of the season but I have no doubt he will come back stronger and ‘Razor’ will be back putting those trademark challenges in soon!
Bretty has a bit of tendonitis in his knee, he has worked hard in the gym over the summer to develop his strength and power and he’s had a bit of a reaction because of this, he will certainly be fit for the last pre-season friendlies.
As the fans will know Gilesy had a couple of clean-up operations at the end of last season. He is on a specific rehabilitation programme and we hope to have him back for the start season.
Q: Finally there’s lots coming up at the Ray Mac over the next few weeks you must be looking forward to the home friendlies?
MH: Yes it will be great to see the likes of Swindon, Reading and Portsmouth here and it will be a good test for our lads, we also have the Funday on the 5th of August which should be a fantastic day out for everyone, the new kit will be unveiled and there are loads of activities from 12pm onwards. Hope to see everyone at the Ray Mac for the games and Funday which will be great entertainment!