Sports: Nicky Cowley lifts the lid on Lincoln’s pre-season preparations

Sports: Nicky Cowley lifts the lid on Lincoln’s pre-season preparations

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Lincoln City assistant manager Nicky Cowley has said he’s looking forward to getting back out on the grass with the players as preparation for life in League One continues.

The Imps have not yet made any new signings and have signalled that the scope for bringing in new players is limited.

Speaking this week, Nicky told Lincolnshire Live that his and brother Danny’s focus is firmly on making sure that any new players they bring in will complement the current squad.

And he revealed that their approach to pre-season is to focus on getting the ball out as early as possible, personal plans for individual players and ensuring the squad is working together as an effective unit.

He said: “We’ve got so much work to do in terms of players we want to bring in to compliment the current players that we already have.

“We often spend a lot of time in the office doing recruitment work and admin work.

“The most exciting part is getting the players back in and working with them on the grass.

“That’s ultimately what we love doing and what we’re really passionate about, is for them to be at their best.

“I think what you try to do is not only plan for the squad but for the each individual.

“You need players in different positions working on specific things.

“What you also need to establish apart from individual development work, is your team dynamics and your philosophy and style.

“You need to make that really clear in the first few weeks and everyone needs to be aligned so that we’re effective as a collective.”

The Cowleys on the touchline against Cambridge
The Cowleys on the touchline against Cambridge
(Image: Andrew Vaughan/CameraSport)

He added: “We try to introduce the football as early as possible as there’s no point giving the players a training programme that will suit a cross country runner, because they’re not training for the demands of cross country.

“We incorporate the ball into our training and the ball plays a huge part in developing their fitness cause with the footballers, it’s not only their fitness, but the ability to make good decisions under fatigue.

“Nearly all of our exercises involve decision making and the ball needs to be in play for that to occur otherwise you just train the players in terms of doing isolated fitness without the ball.

“Doing training where they make decisions regularly is a huge part of the game and we wouldn’t want to sacrifice that.”

 

Pre-season preparations have definitely changed for the brothers since they first arrived at Sincil Bank.

“When we first arrived it was slightly different,” Nicky said. “In the National League we inherited a group of players that were already contracted at the club.

“As a consequence we were getting to know a new group.

“I remember we arranged for them to come in slightly earlier than our scheduled first day back from pre-season because we wanted to see where they were at physically.

 

“Prior to that we just didn’t know what they were like fitness wise, having that type of information ready was vital for us to be able to pitch the training at the suitable level for which their fitness was at.

“When pre-season starts ,you don’t want to be really enthusiastic and energetic, and do too much with the players which could injure them.

“It’s very much a process – in the first week it’s very safe in terms of fitness testing and ensuring that the players are all looked after.

“It’s important that they’re all in a good condition to fulfil the programme that we’ve prepared for them.”



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