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Fit and firing

Reporter: Matthew Chambers
Date online: 19 June 2017

ATHLETIC manager John Sheridan believes the club's pre-season trip will be the perfect chance for new players to bond and pack in the fitness required to get off to a sharp start next season.

The players - including new signing from Chesterfield, Dan Gardner - are back in for the first day of pre-season on June 29 and after a friendly at Stalybridge Celtic nine days later, will head to the South-West for a four-day training camp on July 11.

That will include two matches, but Sheridan is unlikely to be overly concerned about results at that stage.

What's vital, he says, is that a process is in place to ramp up the intensity towards the opening clash of the 2017-18 Sky Bet League One season on Saturday, August 5.

"It just gets you away and allows new players to bond," Sheridan (pictured) said of the training camp, which is followed up by friendlies at Curzon Ashton (July 18) and Accrington Stanley (July 22) and at home to Middlesbrough (July 25), before a final summer friendly against as-yet un-named opponents on Tuesday, August 1.

"We play a couple of games and we won't travel too far. I didn't like that as a player. The most important thing for me in pre-season is getting the players as fit as we can and keeping them fit and ready for the first game.

"It works out you play your local teams and then 10 days or so before the first game it gets a bit tougher.

"The most important thing for me is, players get their fitness out of the pre-season and stay fit ready to be picked for the first game."

Athletic will find out who they will face on the opening weekend and beyond when the fixtures are released on Wednesday morning.

The first league match will be followed up with a home clash against Championship outfit Burton Albion on the week beginning Monday, August 7, in the first round of the newly branded Carabao Cup.

The draw of that competition was made on Friday, streamed live to fans on social media from the Bangkok home of the sponsors, and there was some initial confusion when Charlton were shown as being drawn against two clubs, while AFC Wimbledon were apparently to face Swindon at home when in fact they host Brentford.

Sunderland, relegated from the Premier League, travel to Athletic's League One rivals Bury, while MK Dons travel to EFL new boys Forest Green.

Carabao Cup first round draw - North Section: Coventry v Blackburn; Nottingham Forest v Shrewsbury; Bradford v Doncaster; Mansfield v Rochdale; Grimsby v Derby; Barnsley v Morecambe; ATHLETIC v Burton; Wigan v Blackpool; Bury v Sunderland; Sheffield Wednesday v Chesterfield; Accrington v Preston; Fleetwood v Carlisle; Rotherham v Lincoln; Sheffield United v Walsall; Scunthorpe v Notts County; Crewe v Bolton; Leeds v Port Vale; South Section: Birmingham v Crawley; Exeter v Charlton; QPR v Northampton; Newport v Southend; Bristol City v Plymouth; Cardiff v Portsmouth; Millwall v Stevenage; Oxford v Cheltenham; AFC Wimbledon v Brentford; Norwich v Swindon; Bristol Rovers v Cambridge; Peterborough v Barnet; Wycombe v Fulham; Colchester v Aston Villa; Wolves v Yeovil Town; Reading v Gillingham; Forest Green v MK Dons; Luton Town v Ipswich Town.

Comments

We need some new signing Shez.

Little bit disappointed that we have missed out on a goalkeeper with Oldham Roots !! Matt Gillks who has just signed for Scunthorpe !! Played in a higher league & Has the physique you need as a goalkeeper !! Dissapointed but trust Shez !!!!

Looks like we are going to have to prove those bookmakers wrong again. Nothing new in that!

any players due to arrive? I know Shez has always said he likes to get new players in early??? 29th June ? Can't wait for the new season!

new signings time to bond well one at least

The wait continues for new signings, hopefully there will be some before training starts.

 

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