Cobblers back home and preparing for Steelmen clash

Sixfields Stadium
Sixfields Stadium

THE Cobblers return to training on English soil this week and will step up their preparations for the first friendly of the summer, at Corby Town on Saturday.

The Town squad landed at Birmingham airport on Sunday night after a 10-day training camp in Croatia described by fitness coach Craig Smith as being ‘very, very tough.’

The players have been given the first two days of this week off but will be back in for more ‘hard yards’ on Wednesday with manager Aidy Boothroyd increasing the intensity for the trip to Steel Park this weekend.

Although he admits a couple of squad members could have come back in slightly better condition, the review from Smith on the Croatia performance was generally a glowing one.

“Everyone is back in on Wednesday and we’ve got a few days of getting into a new routine and getting ready for the game on Saturday,” he said.

“I was pleasantly surprised with a lot of them. There’s always one or two who you think could have done a bit more but the group as a whole was fantastic.

“You never know what you’re going to get from the new lads but all the data we got from them was good.

“The boys that were here before have looked after themselves and they’re all looking in great shape.”

The Croatian camp was a strenuous exercise for all concerned, with temperatures regularly above 30C – although the hottest part of the day was off-limits to training.

The facility’s gym and swimming pool were regularly used, and the squad even managed to fit in a practice match, which they won 6-1.

“It was a great week, we did three sessions a day, the boys worked really hard and they were a credit to the club,” he said.

“They were extremely professional in terms of everything we did on and off the pitch.

“We started at 7.15am and that was a light technical session to get the boys ready, we then had breakfast then had the main football session at 10am with some recovery in the pool.

“The boys were generally in the gym in the afternoon and they worked really hard in there as well, even though it was the third session they’d done that day.”