By Neil Winsor
PHOTO #1 – Under 19’s coaches Paul Mortimer and Paul Richardson take part of last night’s latest session
PHOTO #2 – Young midfielder James Tullett shows great promise during last night’s training session.
HALL Road Rangers boss Bill Gill has been encouraged by a number of positives following their return to pre-season training this week.
Gill and his assistant Andrew Watts, have been joined in pre-season training by Under 19’s bosses, Paul Richardson, and Paul Mortimer (both right), whilst Reserve manager Chris Wright and coach Harry Stanforth have also offered their knowledge, with goalkeeper coach Rich White set to formally join on Saturday.
They have set about shaping a new era at the club, and Gill has expressed his pleasure at the embryonic stages to the new season, his first pre-season since landing the job last October.
“The turnout has been excellent, for both sessions and that is extremely pleasing.” Gill boasted
Speaking following last night’s latest session which also included players from the Reserve and Under 19 setup, Gill also went on to add.
“We have had 50 players come down both on Saturday and tonight, over the three teams and ten to fifteen are still on holiday or have been unavailable for one reason or another.”
The two sessions have so far seemed to go down well amongst the squad, and Gill was also pleased with how the large pool of players have adapted to the differing types of sessions.
“Tonight’s session we really stepped it up, whereas Saturday was a nice one, as we did more ball orientated work to break some of the lads in and break the ice.
The real test for me came tonight though, as we looked more at the conditioning and fitness work, and the lads have done extremely well.”
With the summer sun blazing down at Haworth Park during both sessions, it’s certainly been far from easy conditions, but its believed the effort put into training now, will stand Hall Road in good stead when the NCEL Premier Division season kicks off on August 4, and later into the season.
Gill, who helped preserve the club’s NCEL Premier Division status last season against insurmountable odds, has also laid down his expectations by telling his players what they can expect in return and says the atmosphere within the camp is positive that they can build on last season.
Gill also admits that due to the large number of players, it is inevitable that the time to look at trimming numbers will come soon, and that ‘honesty’ will be the best policy when dealing with this.
“We have had some really good positive feedback from all of the coaches, and the main thing for me in particular is I want to be honest with players.
I cannot be putting players out there in tough games and tough environments, if they’re not good enough.
That may sound harsh, but its not fair on them and as a club we cannot carry those that aren’t up to the standard.
They are a couple of players admittedly that may fall into that bracket, and those identified, will be monitored over the next week or two.
After we’ve done that and assessed it, we will then look at the quality of what we have left over and go from there.”
The club have also made an interesting move in terms of the structure of their training sessions, as all players involved with the Under 19’s and Reserves now train with the first team.
This is a move which can only bring positive results according to Gill, and signs in terms of team spirit appear to be backing this decision, and the mixture of players has reminded Gill of the plus points of a good pre-season.
“It was totally the right call, some have questioned it, but when you look at what we had turn up tonight, that is what pre-season is all about, we have had a nice mixture.
They are lads down that are just 16 and 17, we have guys in their mid to late twenties, and then guys in their thirties.”
The main reason behind doing it is to create a family like atmosphere between the three teams, so that when these lads are called into the first team, or we have events then there is no social awkwardness, and relationships are already embedded.
Everybody then is familiar with each other.” said Gill
Hall Road begin their on the field preparations on July 4, when Bridlington Town visit Haworth Park for both teams opening pre-season friendly.