That was the message from Under-21s Coach Ugo Ehiogu after a productive first session on the training pitches for our Development Squad on Friday.
Our young professionals reported back to the Training Centre this week after the summer break and were quickly back outside to work on their ball control in the glorious sunshine after a couple of days’ worth of initial fitness work.
Having presided over Friday’s session, Ugo explained how it was important for the lads to get reacquainted with the football – but warned that some much more strenuous tests are on the way as pre-season continues in earnest!
“We’ve just had the first day of football outside on the grass so it’s all about the feel of things at the moment – getting used to the touch of the ball and the roll of it once again,” he said.
“As silly as it sounds, we’re getting used to playing back on grass again and a lot of it is about rhythm.
“It’s the first session for some of the boys for five or six weeks, so their touch is going to be a little bit heavy on some occasions, but I’m pleased because there was enough of a competitive edge and some good bits of quality about the session.
“We’ve had one 12-minute period of opposed stuff, everything else was unopposed to just get used to the feel of it and then we’ll ramp it up as the weeks go on. It will get a lot harder than this but the players expect that because that’s what gets them fit, so bring it on!”
Check out our exclusive photo gallery from Friday’s Development Squad training session here.