Boss Boothroyd anticipating no fitness issues with Cobblers squad

HERE WE GO AGAIN - the Cobblers players return for their first day of pre-season training on Friday

HERE WE GO AGAIN - the Cobblers players return for their first day of pre-season training on Friday

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Aidy Boothroyd is confident there will be no issues of personal fitness for any members of his Cobblers squad when they return for pre-season training this week.

Paolo di Canio was quoted this week saying there would be fines for any of his Sunderland players who return to the club more than 2kgs heavier than they were when they left for the summer.

But Boothroyd is not expecting to have to adopt a similarly hard-line approach with his own team and stresses he is no ‘dictator’ on the Sixfields training ground.

“We have a good group of players and last year nobody came back overweight, everyone was in good shape,” he said.

“Players nowadays can’t afford to let themselves go, they’re footballers 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

“You have to de-train to a certain extent to allow your body to rest but at the same time you’ve got to be able to cope with the load that’s put on you when you come back in.

“I’m not a dictator, I don’t believe in that.

“I think the modern-day manager has got to have much more of a tool kit.

“He’s got to be able to cajole and rant and rave but also do different things.

“Any player who isn’t professional enough isn’t going to last long in a game where there are 700 players out of work and available.”

Boothroyd is also an advocate of the recent sea-change in pre-season training that has moved away from the more traditional methods of running, running and more running.

Tales of players returning from long holidays and being sick after relentless hill climbs are now the stuff of nostalgia, a concept Boothroyd fully buys into.

“We have three sessions a day and then a classroom session in the evening in the first week to get everyone straight back into it,” he said.

“There is a place for running, definitely, but with the stimulus of a football you can actually get a lot more out of your players with disguised running.

“I’ve always erred towards that side of it.”