Skip to main content Skip to site footer
Club News

Down to work

15 July 2013

It was down to business for Phil Parkinson's squad this Monday as they took to the training field on day one of their week-long stay in the Republic of Ireland.

Following their safe arrival in the country on Sunday evening, Parkinson's men were hard at work throughout Monday, putting both the football pitches and gymnasium facilities at their hotel base to good use.

Some of the squad were even up before 7:00am to get in a session in the hotel's swimming pool before training. 

After missing out on Saturday's opening pre-season win at Guiseley with slight knocks, Gary Jones and Mark Yeates both trained with the rest of the squad on Monday and the pair should be in contention to face Athlone Town this Tuesday evening.

Defensive duo Andrew Davies and Luke Oliver, both of whom have made the trip to Ireland, won't feature against Athlone but Parkinson is still encouraged by their recent progress.

Parkinson said: "As I said on Saturday, they were both just really minor injuries for Gary and Mark. We didn't want to take any risks against Guiseley, but they have trained well today (Monday) and it will be good to have them back available for selection for Tuesday.

"Andrew is in good shape. He has been working hard recently with Nick (Allamby) and he is feeling a lot better with regards the issue affecting his calf. As we know from last season, it is not actually his calf that is the problem, it is a nerve problem in his back which occasionally can cause the calf to spasm up.

"The signs are also good for big Olly (Luke Oliver). On top of working to get his fitness levels back up, he had an injection last week to clear up a niggle in his hip. He is progressing at a steady pace but obviously we know things are going to take slightly longer (for him) given how long he has been out for."

After largely giving his squad 45 minutes each at Guiseley, Parkinson says the plan for the Athlone fixture is to keep the majority of his starting eleven in place for the first hour of the game before then making changes after the sixty-minute mark.

Barring any injuries or illness, the Bantams boss will then put the same plan into action for Saturday's friendly at Bohemians but in reverse - those who played sixty minutes at Athlone will get thirty minutes against Bohemians and vice versa. 

Parkinson added: "The lads who start will go for sixty minutes. We will try to give some of them a bit longer than what they got on Saturday (vs Guiseley).

"We'll then change it around (vs Bohemian) to make sure that by the end of the week as many players as possible have played a sixty and a thirty."

Given that Irish football is predominately played throughout the summer months, City will head to Athlone Town Stadium on Tuesday with their hosts roughly halfway through their Airtricity First Division season.

Parkinson believes the fact that their next pre-season opponents will already be match sharp and game ready is ideal for City as they look to step up their preparations for the forthcoming season.

Parkinson said:"Generally, I have always found Irish teams to be quite fit and athletic, especially as we come here now in the middle of their league season.

"That usually makes the games over here very beneficial.

"As we get nearer to the season, the level of intensity of the games and training usually gets higher and higher. That competitive element increases all the time.

"I have been really pleased with the attutide and effort of the lads so far. Today's training was at a good tempo considering the warm temperatures we played Saturday's game in.

"I'd never been to Athlone before as a player or a manager but hopefully it should be a good game for us."

Advertisement block