DOUBLE-WINNING boss Paul Smith is prepared to take some stick from his Bromsgrove Sporting squad – for pushing every player to the limit in the start of pre-season training.
The curtain on the 2016-17 season finally fell last weekend at the Midland League presentation night at Walsall’s Banks’s Stadium, with Sporting coming away with four trophies – winning the Division One title, manager of the year, hospitality of the year plus a memento for reaching the FA Vase semi-finals
But Smith stressed all eyes are on the future and the preparations for the next campaign begin tomorrow (Saturday) with the first training session.
Smith has already been busy building the squad for the Rouslers’ debut in the Midland Premier Division – Sporting secured striker Wade Malley from Racing Club Warwick as their sixth New face last week – and there will also be a number of trialists involved looking to secure their place in the squad.
“Last season has gone. It was a fabulous season but that won’t count for anything,” said Smith.
“We’ve got our first session on Saturday and we’re starting probably a couple of weeks earlier than anybody else because we want to make sure we hit the ground running.
“It’s going to be hard work, the players will be pushed but all the effort now will put us in good stead for the whole of the season.
“We sent the players away with a set of instructions to follow to keep in trim and we’ll see whether they did within the first half an hour of Saturday’s session. I don’t think I’m going to be too popular!”
Smith has been delighted with his summer business but there will still be opportunities for an array of triallists to impress. The first three friendlies – against Chelmsley on July 5, Romulus (July 8) and Paget Rangers (July 11) – will feature a mix of line-ups before the squad starts to settle down in preparation for the opening FA Cup tie on August 5.
“We will be having 28 lads with us for the first few sessions and I’ve got get that down to 18 before the season starts,” added the Rouslers boss.