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Yates Aiming For Strong Pre-Season

12 July 2012

Mark Yates has told that he is looking forward to a strong 2012-13 pre-season

The first day of pre-season training is one all footballers dread with the thought of gruelling fitness work but it was all smiles down at Seasons earlier today.

The squad training today was a group that had been together for a while now and had been through a lot with each other already. This is the first time in a fair few seasons that Cheltenham Town have had a settled squad which could be built upon for the upcoming season.

Just two new signings linked up with the Robins today, with more to come, and manager Mark Yates declared himself happy with their returning fitness and eagerness.

"It's good to be back and it's nice to see some familiar faces and some new ones," he said.

"We had a good session with them and they've come back exactly as we would have expected - in good shape. We are one of the last clubs back but I'm confident that they will be more than ready come the start of the season."

It was a big day for both Billy Jones and Sam Deering who wore their Cheltenham training kits for the very first time and lined up alongside their new team-mates. 

Mark was delighted with their effort in the very first training session and provided an update on any more new faces that may follow them through the entrance here at the Abbey Business Stadium.

"They already knew a few of the boys so they are fine," he explained.

"Players moving about is what happens with football so they can handle it and we have a few trialists in as well which we are going to have a look at. 

"We're still obviously working towards other players coming in as well. We are quite a way from sealing those deals as there are a few things we need to work out with those players but we know what we want and we are going to for the best we can get. We are doing everything we can but we're confident we'll have better and a near full squad by the time we head off to Wales."

The summer acquisitions have already impressed most Cheltenham Town supporters and it's widely reported that a goalkeeper and two strikers are on the current wishlist of the Robins manager.

This summer's transfer business is being made all the more comfortable with the Board of Directors injecting more money into the playing budget recently but Mark is remaining patient when it comes to attracting players to Gloucestershire.

"I don't know whether the board were testing me but they kept a little back and we have now got that to strengthen.

"We will be patient and perhaps players we wouldn't have considered have now become available. We won't be splashing out but we will be looking to add quality to the quality we already have here. There is a noticeable difference between the players we could attract a few years ago and the players we can attract now. 

"The reason we haven't rushed this summer is because we haven't needed to. In previous seasons we have had to rush and get players in quickly but the foundation is there now and we are building from that. Players know the style of football we like to play and that really helps."

What's next for the players? Fitness tests and more pre-season hard work as the first friendly away to Evesham United approaches.

The Robins will head to Oxstalls Campus tomorrow to complete their fitness tests and provide the backroom staff with all the information they need going forward throughout pre-season.

Mark Yates is anticipating a lot of hard work but believes it will all be worth it in the end.

"We have fitness tests tomorrow and that will give us more of an idea of where a few are. 

"You never know quite where players are until you do those tests and they will also be doing an afternoon session too. They will be in on Saturday morning for more of a football session but they'll have their Sunday off before a hard week. 

Evesham United will be a continuation of their training and they will hopefully all play 45 minutes each. There is a long way to go but I'm confident we will have a strong pre-season."

Watch the full interview on Robins Player by clicking here.

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