Director of Football, Paul Maitland looks ahead to the Kingstonian Pre-Season Friendly and discusses the importance of Pre-Season with theterras.com
theterras.com: We are well into the swing of things with Pre-Season now. The lads look like they are working hard?
Paul Maitland: Yes they are working hard and that’s what Pre-Season is all about really. You put in your hard yards now and if you are fit and sharp, that’s when you get your rewards at the end of the season. I think we showed on a few occasions last season that the fitness and sharpness pays off because there were times when we won games and rescued points in the late stages of games. Pre-Season is not something that any player particularly looks forward to but it’s necessary.
theterras.com: At tonight’s training session (Tuesday night) Youth Goalkeeper Harrison Bruton trained with Goalkeeping Coach Robbie Yates. Are you impressed with his development?
PM: Yes he has done well. We saw Harrison a few times last season when he was part of the Under 16 setup and the lads took to him very quickly and we are pleased to be welcoming him back for Pre-Season. I’m pleased for him that he’s got the chance to work with Robbie and the other keepers at the club because inevitably that will aide his development. Hopefully it’s the start of seeing a few more of our younger players training with us, as and when they are ready and the time is right.
theterras.com: Fantastic work. It is noticeable how hard the staff backroom staff have been working during the sessions we have seen.
PM: The hard work is relentless and if you are stood here then you are doing something, whether it’s moving goals or physically coaching the players. It is a real team effort, it doesn’t just fit together by chance and luck. We like things to be ready for the players when they arrive and we like it all to run with fluidity.
theterras.com: We have got the visit of Isthmian Premier side Kingstonian on Saturday. It promises to be an interesting test in this Pre-Season schedule…
PM: Yes this one is going to be very interesting. They wanted to come down south for a bit of a tour and some Pre-Season training and do something a bit different to what they have done before. It’s a good opportunity for us to play them and it may well give us a little bit of an insight of what to expect from the teams around the London area that are now in our league. First and foremost, it’s a fitness exercise as we start to build towards the season and also it’s another opportunity to build relationships within the group.