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28 June 2016

The Iron return to pre-season training on Tuesday, and it will be the job of strength and conditioning coach Adam Hearn to get the United squad into shape ahead of the new campaign.

Hearn says the first few days will all be about assessment, and guaging just what sort of condition the players he’ll be working with are in.

Hearn told The Iron PlayerHD: “We came in on Monday morning and had a staff meeting just to see what’s going on and make sure we were ready for Tuesday. The players are in three groups and will be doing a number of tests, so we can see where they’re at.

“They’ve all had an off-season programme to follow, and that’s what the testing’s about really - just to see how much of that they’ve done, and see what shape they’re in now.

“I’d rather them come back 100 per cent fresh, but they might not be as fit as they were at the end of last season, which is to be expected because they’ve had six or seven weeks and they need that time to chill out after a ten month season.

“The players will be in Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday this week. Some of those will be single grass sessions, some of those will be double grass sessions, and they’ll be in the gym a number of times."

While admitting the fitness work which is done in the lead up to kick-off in August is tough, Hearn believes the players relish the opportunity to get themselves back close to the levels they were at towards the end of the previous campaign.

“I think the players enjoy it, because they’ve had that period of time off, they want to get back into it and they know they’re not as fit as they were,” he said.

“I think they appreciate the work they do in the first couple of weeks is to get their fitness levels back up, and I certainly think they’ll enjoy it.

“They’re very good. The programme we’ve set in place is individualised, so they’ll all have little things to do which will be slightly different to other people."

Looking back on last season, Hearn was pleased with how things went in terms of injuries and he hopes it’s a record which the medical department can improve upon again this season.

“I’d like to think fitness-wise we had a pretty good season. We had a good availability rate, the injuries we had, a lot of them were down to issues we couldn’t necessarily help," he said.

“If you look at the injuries like Tom Hopper’s shoulder, Luke Williams and Niall Canavan on the first day of the season, there’s not a lot we could have done to affect that.

“Obviously we want a good injury record again this year, and I think the staff we’ve got and the programme we’re putting together will certainly help with that.”

See much more from Adam Hearn and manager Graham Alexander on The Iron PlayerHD.

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