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Management duo of Taylor and Hughes delighted with pre-season effort

The returning Wealdstone players have given their all in punishing pre-season conditions and made a real impression on the new manager.

Matt Taylor and his assistant, Paul Hughes, watched new strength and conditioning coach Wayne Andrews put the players through a series of tests in the gym on day one at Brunel University so he has a base and a benchmark to measure their progress.

The squad of retained players, new signings, Academy players and trialists then went outside to be put through a series of runs and passing drills. The dreaded bleep test was on day one and then the second day consisted of 4x800m runs, with each 800m to be achieved in under two minutes and 30 seconds.

"They worked extremely hard, probably the hardest some of them have worked in a long time," said the manager. "Pre-season is always important as you want to take the players to a point where it's painful but you don't want to break them.

"I've been impressed with their effort but more so, the camaraderie in the group. We've had new players come in but the one thing that stands out is everyone is together. That's going to be massive for us. All I ask is for the players to give everything they've got."

As part of the newly introduced hybrid model, the players had today (Wednesday) off before they return for a session at Harefield Academy on Thursday.

"This is what pre-season is about and the players are coping brilliantly," said Hughes, the former Chelsea player and Hayes & Yeading manager. "The hot weather started for pre-season when I think the players hoped for rain. It's hard work, but they are putting it in and doing a good job. The fitter ones are pushing those that are flagging at the back and that's nice to see. That spirit is inherent at the club and it's great. They are getting a lot of running into their legs and a lot of football work too."

Hughes said the coaching and fitness team have "something planned on Saturday" in a bid to "to get the balls out and have a look at a few."

Pictures by Sean Troup

Interviews by Tim Parks


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Jun 27

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