Attacker on return to Cat & FiddleThe Exeter City players returned to pre-season training on Monday – and attacker David Wheeler already has one eye on the first competitive fixtures of the season.
The Grecians kick off the Sky Bet League 2 campaign against Yeovil Town at St James Park on Saturday 8th August, and then just three days later travel to Swindon Town for a Capital One Cup first round match.
City have a pre-season schedule which includes a visit north of the border to Scotland and prestigious home friendlies with AFC Bournemouth, Fluminense U19 and Sheffield United – but the purpose of the programme is to be in peak condition when August rolls around.
“It’s a common cliché that you can’t judge anything on pre-season,” Wheeler said. “You can have a terrible season after starting well, and vice versa.
“But that said, the whole pre-season is gearing towards those first two games of the season.
“Every player in every week of the season is going to be gunning for a place in the starting line-up.”
The players have had access to training sessions over the summer to retain core fitness, in order to be ready to get the most out of pre-season.
The pre-season training regime, which began on Monday, was about easing the team back to work – until the dreaded bygone days of hard-running in the first sessions.
For David, who played non-League football for Lewes and Staines, that kind of grounding is a little different to what he had in his earlier playing days.
“Because you have less time in non-League, you have to be training hard every time you come in,” he said.
“Now it is a lot more about the conditioning, because we’re going to be training every day. The surfaces are hard and there’s more time to ease yourself in. It’s a lot more professional here.
“I’ve been doing some conditioning over summer – nothing too heavy and no big running or lifting big weights. I’ve been doing injury-prevention things mostly.”
You can watch the full interview with David on Grecian PlayerHD below.