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Players are in great condition – Donohoe

Conditioner Callum Donohoe has praised the players for the work they have done prior to returning to pre-season training.
It’s the job of Donohoe, owner of the Pit Gym on National Ave, to make sure the players are ready to start the season in peak conditions.
The players took a week off after their final game of the season against Kendal before embarking on an intense programme to keep them ticking over before Donohoe got his hands on the players.
And the conditioner has noticed a significant difference in the players’ attitude to the same stage of last season.
“The biggest change has been in attitude and mentality,” Donohoe said.
“They have gone from just doing the pre-season for the sake of it to now, where the players are always talking about standards and improving week on week and enjoying the process.
“The extra work they’ve done in the off-season has meant they were physically and mentally more robust coming in to what has been a tough pre season so far.
“Again the mental side of it is our main focus.
“Anyone can just turn up and run and hit tackle bag, but it’s how they handle the mental pressure when they’re out on their feet.”
After an already intense summer of sprints and squats, the players want their efforts to be rewarded with promotion in their 25th Anniversary season.
The role of any conditioner is to make sure the players are ready to start, middle and end of the season and Donohoe has no fear of players hitting the wall before the business end of the season.
“With regards to burnout, not a chance,” Donohoe said.
“It’s my job to make sure we train optimally and get the best out of each session.
“Making sure we prepare properly for sessions and keep an eye on players levels of fatigue and getting feedback from the group after sessions is really important.
“It means we can plan every session to be the right amount of work and we can either addmore in, or strip it right back if the boys are really sore.
“Physically we will be right up there again, a more mobile and physical team which we needed to be at times last year.
“The biggest challenge is the mental side of the game, making sure we can handle the pressure.
“Our pre-season is based around putting pressure on the players when they don’t have the oxygen to think straight.
And if we improve every week in that area, good luck to the first team we face!”

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