TOM LITTLE is Town’s new first-team fitness coach – and manager Lee Clark is confident he will make a major impact.

Previously with Burnley and Sheffield Wednesday, where he worked alongside Town development coach Steve Watson, he replaces Andy Kiwomya, who has departed for personal reasons.

Little, who has a doctorate in fitness and put the Galpharm players through their paces when they returned for pre-season training yesterday, worked part-time with Town 10 years ago.

He has since been at Wigan, Bolton, Manchester City and Barnsley as well as Wednesday and Burnley and will be responsible for the physical side of day-to-day training and players’ nutrition.

“I spent time here on a part-time basis and got a feel for the club and what it’s all about,” he explained. “The club has a fantastic infrastructure and an equally impressive fan base.

“A major influence in my decision to join was Canalside and the plans the club have to turn it in to a Premier League training facility. Having everything under one roof will massively aid my work.”

Clark commented: “It was mainly through Steve Watson that I came to know about Tom, and as soon as I met him, I knew straight away he had the right dynamics for us as a group and as a club.

“We quickly came to an agreement and I’m delighted to have him on board.

“He brings a whole range of things to the table. He does excellent strength and conditioning work as well as injury prevention and rehabilitation – the whole package really.

“However, the type of character he is was just as important for me.

“It was vital to get him in place in preparation for the return of the squad to training.

“Once Andy Kiwomya had made the decision to pursue other interests with his family it became very important that we got someone in place for the first day of pre-season.

“As people will know from the previous two and a half seasons, we have been very good on the fitness and injury side and we need that to continue.”

Kiwomya joined Town as academy fitness coach two years ago before succeeding performance coach Steve Black in November.