Cobblers tour diary... Sam Hoskins on crucial hard work over the summer break, getting to know his new team-mates and excitement ahead of the new season

The Cobblers are going through their training camp paces in Spain this week, and each day a player will give a little insight into what has been going in at the Pinatar Arena Complex in Murcia.

Wednesday, 10th July 2019, 9:10 am
Sam Hoskins gets to work in the gym in Spain (Pictures: Pete Norton)

The team has been in Spain since Sunday evening, and on Tuesday trained in the morning before taking on Bournemouth Under-23s in a practice match in the afternoon, drawing 3-3.

Here, the Cobblers' longest-serving player Sam Hoskins gives his take on proceedings so far.

"We're all having a really good week. It's been tough because of the heat and the hard work that we're putting in but the main thing at the minute is getting the fitness and the game on Tuesday night would've also helped with that.

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Training in Spain has been tough for Sam Hoskins and the rest of the Cobblers players

"Our schedule was slightly different to Monday's because of the training game later on in the day.

"That meant we trained this morning and did some fitness work, some passing drills and went through some set-pieces and some plans for the game. We were then able to chill out in the afternoon and have some lunch before reporting for the game around 3.30pm as we kicked off at 5pm.

"In terms of the facilities here, there's everything you need and more. The pitches are great, the food has been spot on so far, there's a gym and the rooms are nice so you can't ask for anymore really.

"We've got everything we need to prepare us for the week ahead and we're lucky to have such a good set-up.

The Cobblers drew 3-3 with Bournemouth Under-23s in a training match

"On a personal note I'm feeling good and feeling fit. We all had our own individual plans over the summer to stick to so that we came back in top condition and we're all feeling the benefit of that now.

"To be fair, all of the lads have come back in really good shape, we've got a strong group forming and there's no-one that seems unfit or off the pace so hopefully we can push on and keep progressing steadily.

"In terms of the dressing room, it's key to have a mixture and a balance of young professionals and senior, more experienced players.

"We've got a really good blend here at the moment and I've been lucky to be involved in great dressing rooms before, here particularly, and with the group we've got at the moment we can certainly replicate those standards.

"There's a lot of players here that have tasted successful seasons before so hopefully we can produce something similar.

"I'm rooming with Jordan Turnbull, I've known him for years and I think if you ask anyone around here they'll say we're pretty inseparable!

"We get on really well, we bounce off each other really well and with the new lads and younger lads coming in we're all mixing together which is a key component to a successful team.

"You've got to have a good team spirit but also know when it's the right time to have a laugh and a joke and when you need to knuckle down and focus.

"The start of the season isn't too far off now, if you ask any player the focus is always on getting fit and focusing on being in the best shape possible for that first game of the season.

"You never lose the excitement of preparing for a new campaign but there's still plenty more hard work to be done first.

"We've got the rest of the week here before facing a few tough opponents over the next couple of weeks but that will helps us develop our playing style, building relationships with each other across the pitch and making sure we're at the standards of where we want to be at.

"After the session on Tuesday morning and the training game we've been allowed some downtime on Wednesday morning as we won't be training until the evening.

"The plan now is to meet up with the lads and continue to spend time together and get to know each other better, have a bit of a rest and recovery morning tomorrow before putting in the hard work again later in the day."