Pre-sea­son vi­tal to keep Reds mo­tor­ing

Accrington Observer - - SPORT -

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.”

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