Squad begin to return for pre-season todaySteve Clarke is relishing the start of pre-season, as he steps up his preparations for the 2015/16 campaign.
The first batch of his Royals squad are due to report back to training today for 10 days of intensive work, before the squad fly out to Thailand on July 5th for a pre-season tour.
“I’m ready, I’m excited about getting the players back and it’s going to be a big season,” said the Reading manager.
“Initially, it’s going to be very intense and we are going to make sure that a lot of ground work goes into the players’ legs before we go to Thailand. When we come back, we have got some good games lined up.
“It’ll be great to go out to Thailand. It’s the home country of the owners and we’ll be able to go out there and showcase the club a little bit. Hopefully we’ll give a good account of ourselves in the game that we’re going to have.
“It’s still a pre-season game and I know that a lot of the players have been over to Thailand before and, at this time of the year, the conditions are really difficult and the players will be very drained and physically tired during that game.”
A number of Reading players have represented their countries on international duty in the close season, with Garath McCleary and Michael Hector still to compete in the CONCACAF Gold Cup next month with Jamaica.
They have already appeared three times for the Reggae Boyz in the Copa America this summer and Clarke hopes that they will be able to slot straight back into club duty once their national commitments conclude.
He said: “They’ll miss a lot of the group work with us but both of them know what to expect, so they’ll pick things up very quickly when they come back and join us.
“We have to mention the Welsh boys, Chris Gunter and Hal Robson-Kanu who got a great result with Wales and they are almost there in terms of qualifying for the European Championships.
“Northern Ireland also picked up a good point, which was good for Olly Norwood. He played well for them and Danny Williams did well for the USA in a couple of friendlies.
“They all picked up good results and it also means that they’ve kept themselves reasonably fit during the close season. The break for them isn’t so long, it was a split break, which is why I bring the players back in two groups.
“It’s been a long break for the boys that have been off since the second of May and unfortunately they are going to suffer a bit in the next 10 days as they catch up!
“I’m sure they’ll be buzzing though and a lot of them are the younger boys, so they’ll all be eager to impress.”
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