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There'll be a buzz around the place

27 June 2013

Bantams boss Phil Parkinson feels there will be a good buzz around the camp when his squad reconvene for the start of pre-season training next Monday.

Just over six weeks after sealing promotion out of League 2 via the Play-Offs, City return to their Apperley Bridge training ground next week to begin their preparations for life in League 1.

The Bantams can look forward to friendly fixtures against Guiseley, Grimsby Town and Doncaster Rovers, as well as two matches over in Ireland, during their pre-season programme, but two weeks of hard slog on the training ground are in order first up.

Far from dreading the usually testing summer schedule though, Parkinson has revealed that some of his squad have even been down to the club's training ground this week to begin their fitness work early.

Parkinson said: "I think we are all looking forward to getting back out on the training pitch and going again.

"It has been a bit of a shorter break for the lads this time around due to our run through the Play-Offs, but I think stepping up a league will see everyone with a spring in their step come Monday.

"All the lads I have spoken to are excited to be coming back and eager to get going again.

"I know a few of the players have been down at the training ground already this week going through some exercises and doing stuff off their own backs.

"It is so important at this stage of the year to get that fitness work in and get the players prepared for the long season ahead.

"Whether it is work on the training pitch or during the friendly games, it is crucial that we get the lads in the right shape before the league campaign starts."

With the emphasis placed largely on improving fitness and stamina levels in the early stages of pre-season training, City's Head of Sports Science Nick Allamby is likely to play a key role in the club's first couple of weeks back to business.

Leaving Allamby to put the players through their paces, Parkinson knows he can continue his relentless quest to get his squad in place for the club's assault on League 1.

Parkinson added: "Myself, Steve (Parkin) and Nick (Allamby) have already met in the last week or so to discuss our general plans for pre-season and the sort of schedule we want to work to.

"With the schedule pretty much nailed down now for each day, my main job (over the next few weeks) is recruiting new players to the club.

"We have to make sure we improve the squad and also keep the players we want to keep who are out of contract.

"I have been working on that for a number of weeks, looking at various areas and speaking to various people, and I will continue to work on this in the coming days and weeks.

"We have been speaking to a number of agents recently and following up that interest with more meetings this week.

"We've also had meetings with players at various places around the north of England and a couple down south. 

"It can be a different workload for managers at this time of year. It is more about meeting players and agents than discussing tactics or scouting future opponents.

"As I've said before though, it is crucial we make sure we get the right players in not just the first ones who become available."

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