LET me start by wishing everyone a belated Happy New Year on behalf of the rest of the squad, we hope that after being deprived of Rugby League for a few months you are like us and eagerly anticipating the new season.
Pre-season training has gone really well and although it has been very tough we are feeling the benefits of the hard work we’ve put in, it’s the first time in as many years as I can remember we have had the majority of the squad in for the start of pre season which has hopefully give us a head start in our preparations for the start of Super League.
In the 15 years I’ve been at the club pre season training has changed dramatically, everything is measured. We have been subjected to tests in fitness, strength, speed, body fats and there is accountability for every individual in the squad.
We have nutritionists on hand to assist with our diet and use GPS systems in training to measure the distance we have covered and our heart rates.
If you haven’t worked hard enough our conditioner Matt Daniels will soon know and likewise if a player as worked over the desired amount the coaching staff can make alterations to training sessions to manage a players workload.
With access to all this type of information it helps the coaching staff to cater for every individuals specific needs so we are in the best shape to perform well on a weekend.
l THE new arrivals to the club have all settled in really well, Jordan Turner, Alex Walmsley and Willie Manu are all great lads and have made an instant impact on the rest of the squad.
Alex in particular has done really well considering its his first experience as a full time professional, he’s a big human too, there are not many 6ft 5in 112kg 22-year-olds knocking about and I’m grateful I don’t have to worry about tackling him.
These new players will add further competition for places, the successful St Helens sides I have had the pleasure of playing for in the past have always had good strength in depth and the squad of 2013 will be no different.
If we as players continue to work hard then Nathan Brown has some tough decisions when picking the team each week.
The players have enjoyed working with the new coaching team of Nathan, Keiron and Jahmal Lolesi, they have brought in some different ideas that we have worked hard on.
Nathan has gone on record as saying that we as a team have not been that far off being successful in recent years so drastic changes are not required.
What we need to do is improve individually and fine tune certain key areas that we hope will help us to achieve our goals.
l GREAT news for the club this week was the news that Tommy Makinson has signed a contract extension.
He has done really well since coming into the team and is a player who will continue to improve.
However, if Tommy seems low on confidence at the start of the season you can blame me.
I’ve recently handed him a succession of beatings on the darts board and pool table and at this stage were not quite sure if he will recover mentally.
I may have to let him win a few this week like I do with my son in a bid to boost team morale before the season starts.
Joking aside, it’s great to have our young players committing their future to the club.
Hope to see you all at Langtree Park on Saturday for what will be a tough start to the season against a strong Huddersfield side.
We had a good victory over them in a pre-season friendly but they were missing some key personnel and its safe to say that this weekend we will be up against a different beast.
Come on you Saints - Wello
l Quote of the Week: Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is success.