TOWN manager Andy Ritchie had his full squad training for the first time today and declared: “They’re in excellent shape.”
Midfielder Chris Brandon – the subject of interest from Championship Blackpool – was back at the Galpharm this morning after being delayed on his return from holidays by the terror alerts at airports.
He joined new signings Danny Cadamarteri, Frank Sinclair and Malvin Kamara for the second fitness session of Ritchie’s pre-season regime and the manager, who is still looking to strengthen his ranks, says he’s delighted with what he’s seen so far.
“We gave them a 4lb margin on their weights at the end of last season and no-one has had to be fined,” confirmed Ritchie today.
“Yesterday’s session wasn’t too heavy at all because there is no point in killing people before they’ve got into their stride.
“Everything is monitored and built up properly and while there is some hard work to come, the lads look in pretty good shape.”
The Clarke brothers, Nathan and Tom, who missed the end of last season through injury, completed yesterday’s work without problem and Ritchie is hopeful they will both be available for some match action later this month.
“Like the other lads, they looked refreshed and ready to get back to it and there was a really good atmosphere among the squad,” added the manager.
“It was a pretty easy session for them, to be honest, and they were rocking in terms of being in really good spirits. There was a lot of laughing and joking and the new lads slotted in well.
Ritchie added: “We had a get-together on Saturday, when I was able to outline what I expect from the players and what they can expect from me.
“We had to keep things pretty straightforward for those four games last season, but now I have the chance to work on the ethics and tactics I believe will take us forward.”