DERRY EXCITED BY PRE-SEASON SCHEDULE
Manager Shaun Derry reveals he is already eyeing up the two home fixtures with Ipswich Town and Aston Villa at the Cambs Glass Stadium, following the U’s return to pre-season training.
As preparations begun for the 2016/17 EFL season, the first team players were put through a number of early fitness tests yesterday morning by Derry and his coaching team.
Although still in the early stages of pre-season, the U’s boss admits the games against the Championship duo on home soil will be exciting occasions.
He said: “It’s great to be back and the sun always shines on day one of pre-season.
“We have some exciting games coming up; Villa, as well as Ipswich are both great games for us and will be ideal to see what levels we are at.
“This stadium has been good to us in the last six or seven months and the supporters have really got behind the guys. Both the players and the management team appreciate that.
“If we can strike up that relationship in pre-season again and give them a blend of football that hopefully they’re going to enjoy for the rest of the season then the numbers of fans at the two home games are really important.”
He added: “We’ve got a bit of everything in our pre-season schedule, with the trip away to Holland too which is going to be great for many reasons, not least the chance to forge our relationships.
“When you’re spending so much time together as a unit you kind of become a family and you’ve got to get on with your family if you’re living with each other, so to take them into a different environment for a week, it’s going to be greatly beneficial for us.”
Derry himself has endured a plethora of pre-season regimes during his playing career, and feels his experiences have taught him the benefits of positive preparation.
Although he and all the coaching staff will be keeping a close eye on ensuring injuries are kept to a minimum, Derry says the first team can expect a tough but fruitful build up to the new campaign.
“There will be some tough days but there will be structure behind it and a thought process. It won’t be unreasonable and we won’t flogging players, gone are those days, because we’re going to have a smaller group this year and I need them all to be fit.
“Like I said there are going to be some tough days they’re really are, but I’m hopeful that we’re going to get through the seven or eight games that we’ve got positively.
“We’ll all be looking forward to Barnet at home on August 6th.”
Tickets for the pre-season games against Ipswich Town (Saturday 23rd July, 3:00pm) and Aston Villa (Tuesday 26th July, 7:30pm) are available to buy now online, in-store or by calling 01223 566 500.