Winger Jon Taylor excited to be back for pre-season training.
Not many footballers will confess to be excited about returning for pre-season training, but Peterborough United winger Jon Taylor is the exception to the rule.
After a stop-start campaign last term due to injury, Taylor has been working hard over the summer months in preparation for the first day back and looked in fine fettle as Dave Robertson and his management team put his players through their paces at the Mick George Training Academy.
'I enjoyed my first day back if I am honest, I was really looking forward to it. It was great to see all the lads. We haven't kicked a ball for about two and a half months so I couldn't wait to see how my body reacted when I kicked the ball and thankfully all is okay.
'I have done a lot of running in the summer, but no ball work. Playing football is what had been causing me my knee pain last term, so it was great to get the football out and suffer no pain.
'I think we were all pleased to see the footballs out on the first day because a lot of clubs will just focus on running you into the ground, but I think the manager and Grant put a good football session on and then in the afternoon there was plenty of running.
'For me, pre-season is key. Last season I didn't play many games in pre-season because of injury. It is key for me. I want to be as fit as I possibly can and I am looking forward to an injury-free pre-season fingers crossed. The management have spoken about the amount of games that we have in pre-season and that is the right way to go because it is about match fitness. You can do all the running in the world, but it is no substitute for game time,' Taylor said.
In the afternoon, the players had a 15-minute 11v11 fixture which was a adjusted to a game-day scenario and Taylor believes the competitive nature of that part of training is key to success this season.
'The management team are doing everything in pre-season to make sure it is drummed into our heads that it is all about winning games. In that particular scenario in training, one team were given a 1-0 lead with 15 minutes to go, so one team is mentally tuned to attack and one to defend.
'If there was nothing to play for, after the running you had done, there would be no competitive nature, you would just relax and pass the ball, but because of the game situation, you had to adjust mentally as well as physically. It is something you can really learn from,' Taylor concluded.