Pre-season vital to keep Reds motoring
ACCRINGTON Stanley captain Seamus Conneely says that it is the hard work the team does in pre-season that helps them perform at their best towards the second half of the season.
The Reds are well underway with their pre-season preparations as they get ready to play in League One for the first time in their history.
Accrington were able to finish as League Two champions during the last campaign thanks to a superb run during the second half of the season, something which Conneely believes is down to the hard work they put in during the previous summer.
While the Reds captain admits it has been a testing period for the team so far, he says it needs to happen in order to give themselves another opportunity to perform well towards the back end of the season.
“It’s nice to be back amongst the lads. It’s always really difficult, but to get through pre-season brings the lads together,” he told the club’s official website.
“Pre-season is very important. The gaffer spoke about it on the very first morning and one of the things that really
helped us last year was our fitness.
“Traditionally, any John Coleman and Jimmy Bell side has been very strong in the second half of the season because of the work that gets put in during pre-season. We need to get it right now and we’ll get the rewards later on.”
Stanley have three pre-season friendlies at the Wham Stadium this month, taking on Huddersfield Town on July 14, Middlesbrough on July 21 and neighbours Blackburn Rovers on July 28.
Conneely is looking forward to the games, and is eager to see how Stanley can handle themselves against higher league opposition.
“We’re playing a couple of Championship sides and obviously a Premier League side in Huddersfield,” he said.
“They’re all at home too so hopefully we get good crowds in and they’ll enjoy what they see. They look like good tests for us.”
Conneely will be playing in the third tier of English football for the first time in his career when Accrington’s season gets underway next month, and he can’t wait to get started.
“I’m very excited. I’ve never played in League One before and I know not many of the lads have done,” he said.
“We’re looking forward to testing ourselves against a calibre of league opposition we’ve not come across before.”