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Changing times

Kevin Bond speaks from experience when he describes how times have changed in pre-season.

Kevin Bond speaks from experience when he describes how times have changed in pre-season.

Our assistant boss played almost 600 career games for the likes of Norwich City, Manchester City and Southampton in a career spanning 20 years.

He's now overlooking preparations for next season and explained that the big difference in eras - he hung up his boots over 10 years ago - is the way players look after themselves in the summer break.

"It wasn't uncommon for us to come back for pre-season half-a-stone overweight," reflected Kevin. "These boys come back at the same weight that they left the club on the last day of last season.

"The awareness is a lot better and they come back in good shape.

"For a lot of them involved in internationals there is not much of a break anyway and they don't lose too much fitness."

The lads were put through their paces with running routines earlier in the first week before the footballs came out on Thursday, the fourth day of pre-season.

Kevin added: "We try to get the footballs out after a couple of days and I think you get more out of the lads if they are working with the ball rather than just running around pitches.

"In past times you wouldn't see a ball for a fortnight and would be running up and down hills and all sorts, but things have changed."