Samuel reflects on how pre-season has gone to dateStriker Dominic Samuel is working hard in pre-season to make sure that he keeps improving day by day, as we get ever closer to the big kick-off for the new campaign.
The forward impressed during his loan spell with Gillingham in League 1 last year; he came through an early-season injury and went on to make his mark for the Kent club. And now, back with the Royals, he hopes that he can continue on an upward curve under new boss Jaap Stam.
“It has been hard work – but every pre-season is hard work,” the striker said, as we caught up with him after another session in the Dutch town of Oosterbeek. “All the lads are looking forward to playing with each other this year and I think everyone is keeping their heads down and getting prepared for the new season.
“After a successful loan spell with Gillingham last year I’m feeling confident going into this season. But I’m never too comfortable. I’m never satisfied – I always want to get better and do better, especially in front of the new gaffer. My aim is to try and impress him now during pre-season and hopefully get a chance this season.”
There have been a few new arrivals in the camp over the break – and they have been integrated seamlessly into the group.
The time in Holland has allowed them to spend a little more time with their new teammates and to get to bond as a squad.
“The new signings are doing brilliant at the moment,” Dom continued. “Joseph Mendes has come in and settled in well – his English isn’t the best, but he’s getting there quickly!
“Joey van den Berg and the other new guys… they’re all comfortable around everyone already so I feel like everyone is getting on really well. Hopefully that will help us to have a successful season.
“I’m rooming with Danzell Gravenberch – he’s a really funny guy! He’s settled in really well as well – that’s the main thing, no-one ever feels at discomfort and everyone is together as one.”