Monday, July 04, 2011

Pre-Season Of Italy

Today, Swindon continue their pre-season preparations with a tour to Paolo Di Canio's homeland Italy. During their stay in Italy the team will be playing against two local teams in friendlies; the first being played on Saturday which is followed with a game on the 13th.

Although, the two priorities for this will be to allow the players, new and old to bond and gel as a team. The squad have been training hard since returning last week and they certainly can expect more of the same for the following ten days. The lack of team spirit and fitness levels throughout the squad was apparent last season and is paramount they are both improved.

It was clear for all to see that cliques had arose throughout the squad last season. Di Canio has made the right moves in improving this; many of the reported culprits have since departed the County Ground. The isolated area will give the players, new and old an excellent opportunity to bond.

Another issue that was evident during the last campaign was the fitness levels of the majority of the squad. Or lack of fitness. On no less than seven occasions did Town concede in the final five minutes. A figure I can't help but feel would have been largely reduced had the player's fitness been of a better standard.

Trialist Leon Knight was asked to leave after only two days of training with the squad, with the main reason being poor fitness. Taking into account we are short of strikers, Di Canio will not accept any slouches in the squad this season.

Both Matt Ritchie and Paul Caddis seen aware that the trip to Italy will be more army camp than Butlins. Few would argue that the midfield duo were amongst the fittest in the Town squad last season so it will certainly be no easy ride for the players this time round.

Here is hoping the tour has the desired purposes and come the opening game the players will have a united front and pushing for promotion. Players may not have the talent of Premiership players but there is no excuse not to be as fit as them. Just like it was a major disadvantage last season, Di Canio will be utilising our extra fitness to Swindon's advantage.

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