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Yates: We Have A Good Nucleus

2 July 2013

Mark Yates discusses his pro license, the transfer window and using the loan market.

Mark Yates is back and ready to prepare his side for another League Two campaign as the new season quickly approaches.

The Robins chief has of course been in Turkey for his Pro License but he popped into the Abbey Business Stadium yesterday afternoon to meet with the Directors and speak to

The Pro License is a strong qualification for any coach or manager and Mark should complete the course by this time next year but he admitted he loved every minute of the experience.

"It was good but hard work," Mark said.

"We took in eight games and it was all about performance management using different software and analysis. There were 21 of us on the course and we were split into different groups and mine was designated Spain. We had to analyse as well as profile them and that really was eye opening!

"The second task was to concentrate on just one player so we would watch one individual rather than the team itself. The final task was to actually be Spain so we had to scout the opposition and really focus on their strengths and weaknesses. It's all things that I do on a weekly basis but in a lot more depth using the iPads. There were some long days, long hours and plenty of classroom work but it was really good.

"It's a good qualification and I'll be done this time next year. The staff are very good but it's the interaction that has a lot of benefits too. We were in each other's company for 12 to 14 hours each day and some of the best times were talking football in the bar."

Working alongside Mark was Manchester United's veteran winger Ryan Giggs who has recently returned to pre-season training under the guidance of David Moyes. Giggs was in Mark's group but he admitted he was unable to complete a loan move for the 39 year-old Welshman.

"Ryan was in my group and I had worked with him previously back in March on a coaching task. He was great although I don't think he'll be coming here next season!"

Neil Howarth has been taking control of pre-season in the absence of Mark and the players settled back into their normal routines last Thursday.

Troy Brown has become a Cheltenham Town player since Mark departed for Turkey and he admitted that the club have missed out on a couple of key targets although he revealed there could be some movement later this week.

"We are probably two to three players down on where I want to be but that is down to us missing out on a couple and I admit that," explained Mark.

"That's life and you must move on. There hasn't been a great deal of activity around the league but I have a good nucleus to work with and Neil, Jason, Weso and Stevey did a great job in taking control of things while I was away. 

"I saw the boys this morning and they look in good shape but there will be plenty of hard work between now and the start of the season. Hopefully we'll have couple more in this week and a few more over the coming weeks."

Mark will be keen to get back into training and working with the players now that the first pre-season friendly is only a week away.

The Robins will take on near neighbours Evesham United before playing the likes of Cirencester, Gloucester, Coventry, Cardiff and Kidderminster before turning their focus to the new League Two season.

The players are back and underway in pre-season training and Mark has been delighted with the core fitness of his players upon their return.

"It seems like only two minutes ago that we finished last season and the summer seems to get quicker," he said.

"The players came back in great shape and three of them actually completed the yo-yo test last week which is virtually unheard of. They are in good shape but footballers do look after themselves these days.

"They are a good bunch and they have a good work ethic but they enjoy each other's company too. Pre-season is tough whether you're at Real Madrid, Manchester United or Cheltenham Town - it is tough. There is a lot of work on fitness but a lot of it is with balls now rather than hill and forest runs. There is a lot more thought behind pre-season training now."

League Two is shaping up to be another tough division in which Cheltenham Town want to be challenging towards the top.

Clubs have already started to nail their colours to the mast with impressive signings but Mark's full focus is on building around the squad he has now as well as he can and he told that the loan market would be used in full nearer to the start of the season.

"I'm looking forward to a strong season and I will be looking at different squads as the weeks go on.

"There are a few clubs who are making good progress and have made marquee signings but that doesn't phase me. We'll do what we can to recruit properly and be as ready as we can be.

"We will be using the loan market again nearer the time and there will be two or three players coming here on loan. 

"I've spoken to a lot of managers about a lot of players and there really is some good young talent out there. I want some young, hungry players who play in that U21 league because I think it will benefit us. I've spoken to plenty of clubs regarding that and hopefully that will come to fruition near the start of the season. 

"Players like that are needed at their clubs at this moment in time with pre-season friendlies but hopefully we'll get the right ones at the right time to benefit ourselves."

Watch Mark's full interview on Robins Player right now by clicking here.

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