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GEARING UP FOR PRE-SEASON RETURN

20 June 2016

With the pre-season schedule now confirmed, Iron manager Graham Alexander can't wait to get the players back in the building to prepare for 2016-17.

Local rivals and newly-promoted Premier League side Hull City will be the first of two visitors to Glanford Park in pre-season with Rotherham United arriving three days later. Stamford will provide United's first test before a week-long training camp in Austria.

The schedule of warm-up games ends with a trip to Hartlepool United the week before the season starts.

"It's important that we tried to get the fixtures right," he told The Iron PlayerHD.

"We want the supporters to be excited by them but ultimately what we are doing is preparing the team for the season. It's important that you get the right games, the right dates and the right levels of competitiveness for where you are in pre-season.

"We feel we've managed to do that, but we want the highlight to be the season. The prestige games are the league games but we are delighted to welcome Hull City to Glanford Park. They're newly promoted to the Premier League so it will be a great test, as will Rotherham and Hartlepool."

The Scunthorpe boss also touched on the pre-season tour to Austria, a venue he has experienced as both a player and a manager.

"It's a fantastic venue where we will be going - Obertraun in Austria," he continued.

"I've been there as a player and as a manager and it's a fantastic working environment and it's teed up for a team to prepare and get to know each other. We've got a squad who are familiar with each other but they need to get familiar to how I want to work and it gives us a great opportunity to get to know each other. I'm really looking forward to it.

"It's perfect for that stage of pre-season and the games out there will be gauged up to whet their appetite for the season."

With the players returning for pre-season training on Tuesday, June 28, preparations and programme planning continues to ensure everything is in place for their return, allowing the side to hit the ground running.

"We want them to walk in on the first day of pre-season ready to go," he stated.

"Myself and the staff will be in before the players to make sure everything is ready for them. We don't want to waste a day and we certainly won't.

"The next step is looking forward to the fixtures coming out. Every occasion like that brings us a step closer to the real action and that's what we are all here for."

See much more from Graham Alexander speaking about the close season and preparations for 2016/17 on The Iron PlayerHD.

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