Back To School
It's official - Summer is over! Pre-season training for the Plymouth Argyle squad begins tomorrow!
Six weeks before a ball is kicked in anger and with the World Cup still in full swing the Argyle squad return to Home Park on Wednesday to begin their gruelling pre-season training programme, a regime that should hold them in good stead throughout the season.
It's a chance for the players to swap summer holiday stories, compare tans and reacquaint themselves with that white round bouncy thing.
New players Peter Hartley, Carl McHugh, Kelvin Mellor and Deane Smalley will need to introduce themselves to the rest of the squad while former loanees Reuben Reid and Lee Cox return to what is now their permanent home.
The first few days of term are often casual affairs with the players getting weighed and their fitness checked to find out how many burgers and beers were consumed over the summer.
The stamina sapping 10-mile cross-country runs are usually reserved for the second week of pre-season training, however fitness coach John Harbin is sure to stamp his mark and devise his own routine. New coach Paul Wotton is sure to have a big input over the next few weeks.
Once the dog mess is cleared from Harper's Park the players will be put through their paces in a series of fitness routines.
Pre-season training usually offers a chance for fans to play the annual 'spot the trialist' game, a traditional annual pastime where Argyle supporters impress their friends with their knowledge of obscure lower league players and to confuse matters even more a trialist or two from foreign shores often make an appearance on the training ground at this time of year.
Portsmouth in May doesn't seem that long ago. Bring on Cambridge! Welcome back!