Pompey to have a ball on pre-season return

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Focus on ball work will once again take precedence upon Pompey’s pre-season return.

Kenny Jackett’s new-look squad will tomorrow assemble at their Hilsea training base as the summer schedule kicks off.

Pompey assistant manager Joe Gallen

Pompey assistant manager Joe Gallen

It represents a second Fratton Park pre-season for Kenny Jackett and assistant Joe Gallen, who have added five new faces to their squad.

Last summer saw Jackett open up the first day with an emphasis on ball work rather than the traditional gruelling fitness regime.

And according to Gallen, that remains the approach tomorrow morning.

He said: ‘We’ve been off for a little while, so it’s about time we all got back together.

Pompey kicked off pre-season training last summer with ball work

Pompey kicked off pre-season training last summer with ball work

‘Normally on the first day, Kenny will have a meeting with everyone, while the players are re-tested to see where they are in terms of fitness.

‘These days the players come back just as fit. It didn’t used to be like that, I must admit, now they come back like we haven't stopped training.

‘So pretty quickly you can start with ball work and games, whereas maybe 10-15 years ago you couldn’t.

‘The approach this pre-season will again be ball work, we are playing football from day one, the old days of running for a week are gone.

‘They were probably put in place because maybe players didn’t come back as fit as when they left, therefore the thinking was to improve their fitness and lose some excess weight.

‘That’s not the case now, the players’ fitness levels are high because they have been working for the last 3-4 weeks.

‘With that being the case, you can start with the balls straight away and get on with it.​​​​​​’

Pompey head to Ireland on Sunday for a five-night stay in Fota Island, Cork.