Jim: The lads are fit and raring to go

IPSWICH Town manager Jim Magilton today predicted that his players will be ready to play competitive football next week.

Elvin King

IPSWICH Town manager Jim Magilton today predicted that his players will be ready to play competitive football next week.

The Blues boss was reflecting on modern-day fitness and dietary techniques saying that the current situation was light years ahead of when he first started playing.

Town players reported back for pre-season training on Wednesday and are off to Loughborough on Monday to spend five days taking advantage of the specialist facilities on offer at the world famous sporting university.

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Magilton, who is completing his UEFA A coaching licence course in Belfast today, said: “Pre-season has changed massively during my time in football.

“It's light years away from what I first experienced.

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“Players used to come back waiting to lose weight, ready to lose those few extra pounds.

“Now, the boys come back fit, lean and raring to go.

“It doesn't take them long to get back in the swing of things and some will be ready to start playing competitive football again next week.

“Modern-day players are very conscious of diet, nutrition and all the other things that are part of the professional game.”

Last summer - in Magilton's first full close season in charge at Portman Road - the manager brought his players back a fortnight earlier than this time around.

He decided to give them extra time off and explained: “I could see after our last game that the lads needed a break and more down-time.

“I didn't want them to rush back - I wanted them to be contemplative and spend some time looking back on the season as a whole.”

And talking about the time that will be spent at Loughborough, Magilton added: “The lads will be like lab rats.

“They will be wired up to machines and doing tests - and it worked really well last year. The facilities are top-class.

“In fitness terms, we're always looking for a slight edge so it's great at Loughborough because you get a chance to pick the brains of some of the brightest people in Britain.

“We want to be energetic and we want to be able to sustain that.

“In the past we used to do things like go running through parks and, while I always enjoyed that, our scientific approach takes us down slightly different routes these days.”

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