New campaign countdown begins as Cobblers squad returns for pre-season training on Wednesday

Cobblers boss Keith Curle (Picture: Pete Norton)
Cobblers boss Keith Curle (Picture: Pete Norton)

The build up to the new Sky Bet League Two campaign begins in earnest on Wednesday when the Cobblers squad returns for pre-season training.

It will be a new-look squad that reports back to the PTS Academy Stadium for fitness testing, with 11 players having left the club, and nine being brought in over a busy summer of rebuilding by boss Keith Curle.

More players are expected to join the club ahead of the big kick-off against Walsall on August 3, while there could also be one or two departures, but Curle is keen to get down to work.

"All of the players, including those who joined us over the summer, have been given their off season fitness, strength and conditioning programmes to follow," said the Cobblers manager.

"These programmes have been designed to ensure the players report back on Wednesday in the best possible shape and the testing will allow us to see exactly where the players are.

"I am very experienced and have done enough pre-seasons in my time to know where the players need to be and the continued progression they need to make.

"As a player, I played nearly 850 games and played on until I was almost 40.

"That only came about through fitness, hard work and strength and conditioning so I know all about looking after the individual needs of a player. In a squad of 20-plus professionals, each player will be different, the areas they need to work on will be different and the rest and recovery they need will be different too.

"For us, it is about tailoring programmes to meet the individual needs of each player rather than just following generic programmes.

"Whether they are the youngest player in the group or the most experienced, each player has a programme that is suited ideally to their individual needs to ensure their strength and conditioning is the best it possibly can be and that is very important.

"We are looking forward to getting going."

The new players to have joined the club are Matty Warburton, Joe Martin, Harry Smith, Chris Lines, Steve Arnold, Nicky Adams, Ryan Watson, Alan McCormack and Reece Hall-Johnson.