Report this comment
  • "Players reporting back but we're still seriously short of numbers. I'd like to know if the potential takeover etc is causing a delay in signings or if GW is struggling to bring new players in. Maybe he has his targets and is prepared to be patient?"
  • This field is mandatory
  • This field is mandatory
  • Please note we will not accept reports with HTML tags or URLs in them.


  • Enter the above word in the box below

Oxford United players report back for pre-season training

Gary Waddock will be back on the training ground with his Oxford United players when they report for pre-season today

Gary Waddock will be back on the training ground with his Oxford United players when they report for pre-season today

First published in Headlines Oxford Mail: Photograph of the Author by , Chief Sports Reporter covering Oxford United. Follow us on twitter: @oxfordmailoufc. Call me on 01865 425458

GARY Waddock expects Oxford United’s players to report for duty in good condition as pre-season training begins today.

The squad will undergo a series of tests to gauge their fitness six weeks before the start of the new Sky Bet League Two campaign.

Only goalkeeper Ryan Clarke and midfielder Andy Whing, both recovering from injuries, will not take part.

The remainder, including Johnny Mullins, who has fully recovered from the foot problem which ruled the defender out of the final weeks of last season, have been following individual fitness routines during the close season.

All the talk over the past week has been about off-field matters, with United owner Ian Lenagan understood to be involved in takeover talks.

A consortium involving Mark Ashton and Darryl Eales is thought to be in advance talks with Lenagan, with a second group of Oxfordshire businessmen – led by Charlie Methven – publicly stating their interest also.

But – for now at least – attention can turn to the playing side of the club, and Waddock, the U’s head coach, is planning to hit the ground running.

He said: “The players have programmes to do in the off-season.

“I was in and out of the training ground during the summer and the players have been doing the same.

“They will come back in good condition.

“First we will do the testing with (head of sports science) Alasdair Lane to see where they are.

“Then on the training ground and working on the fitness side of things, then team shape.

“You are looking for it all to come together when the season kicks off.”

The sport has advanced significantly since Waddock was a player in the 1980s and 1990s, when pre-season sessions involved long cross-country runs.

United’s players will be working with footballs from the beginning, but the U’s chief made it clear that did not mean it would not be tough.

“For me, footballers need to work on the ball, whether that’s a physical session or not,” he said.

“They are out from day one.

“It won’t be easy, put it that way. Hard work can be done on the balls because I want us to be a hard-working team.”

Having taken over in March during the midst of United’s miserable run-in to last season, the next few weeks will be the first opportunity for Waddock to spend significant time working with the players.

The former Wycombe boss is raring to get started, but the players will already have an idea of what is required.

He said: “Pre-season is a good place, we’ll come in and everybody looks forward.

“There will be a change in terms of training, but the players have already seen that to a degree.

“They have had a taste of how I plan to structure a training session, it won’t be a surprise to them.”

Latest United news:

Oxford United new signing Richard Brindley raring to get stuck in

Oxford Mail:

9:30am Friday 30th January 2015

RICHARD Brindley is raring to make his Oxford United debut at Stevenage tomorrow after joining on loan yesterday.

Appleton: Oxford United's window shopping may go to the wire

Oxford Mail:

9:10am Friday 30th January 2015

AS hard as Oxford United have worked to avoid doing business on transfer deadline day, head coach Michael Appleton is preparing to be involved in Monday night’s rush.

James Roberts sets sights on new goal target for Oxford United

Oxford Mail:

9:00am Friday 30th January 2015

JAMES Roberts is aiming to reach double figures for goals before the end of his first season as a professional.

Oxford United's John Campbell waiting on Roofing extension

Oxford Mail:

8:40am Friday 30th January 2015

JOHN Campbell’s career at Oxford United rests on whether Jarrow Roofing are willing to agree a delay over receiving a fee for the striker.

Westley highlights Oxford United's January investments

Oxford Mail:

8:20am Friday 30th January 2015

STEVENAGE boss Graham Westley says Oxford United’s movements in the January transfer window show they “mean business”.

Comments (6)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

Comments are closed on this article.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree