Plymouth Argyle squad will be out and about in pre-season
EXPECT to see Plymouth Argyle's players out and about in the city over the coming weeks.
Whether it is running around Saltram Park, or swimming in the outdoor pool at Mount Wise, manager Carl Fletcher has a lot planned for them as part of their pre-season training, which started on Wednesday.
The Pilgrims will play their first competitive match of the new season when they take on Portsmouth in a Capital One Cup first round tie at Home Park on Tuesday, August 14.
Before then, there will be a lot of preparation – both physically and tactically – for the Argyle squad.
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They will be based at UCP Marjon, Derriford, for much of their pre-season training, but not exclusively.
Fletcher told Herald Sport: "We are going to do some runs around Plymouth. There are enough hills for every man and his dog.
"We are going to try to get to Saltram and run around there, and maybe use the outdoor pool at Mount Wise.
"There are some great areas around here that we can use, and it will be beneficial to our training programme."
Argyle started pre-season training this week without left-sided full-back or midfielder Onismor Bhasera, who has been given a couple of extra weeks off after an extended spell of international duty with Zimbabwe over the summer.
The rest of the players had an eight-week summer break. Fletcher and his coaching staff of Romain Larrieu and Kevin Nancekivell have been assessing their fitness in the first couple of days of pre-season training.
He said: "I think it's just a case of easing them in, not flogging them straight away. We don't want to pick up too many injuries.
"We have had eight weeks off and everyone is different. Some people will have done some work in the off season, and others not so much.
"It's just a case of judging where everyone is, and seeing whether any individuals need extra, or maybe not as much – certain things like that.
"We are getting them reacquainted with a football and making sure we are all singing off the same hymn-sheet."
Argyle are still two weeks away from playing their first pre-season game, which is away to League One outfit Yeovil Town on Saturday, July 21.
Fletcher insisted the period between now and then was an important one for the players.
He said: "They know they have got to do the training so once they get into the games then it's going to be more beneficial for them.
"Every training session is an opportunity for them to impress us and show us what they can do, for that chance to play in the first game on the 14th (of August)."
Argyle's trip to Yeovil will be the first of four pre-season away games, followed by visits to Truro City (July 24), Weston-super-Mare (July 27) and Tiverton Town (July 31).
They will then have two home fixtures, against Championship club Birmingham City (on August 4) and League One outfit Preston North End (August 8).
Fletcher was pleased with the friendlies which had been arranged, especially as Argyle left it later than many clubs to sort them out.
It was only when the Pilgrims secured their Football League status towards the end of last term that they could start planning for pre-season.
Fletcher said: "A lot of teams were planning their pre-season games at the end of February or in March.
"So there were a lot of teams taken up. It's good to get a nice balance of home and away games.
"We are going to the local sides and Yeovil away, and we are thankful for Birmingham and Preston coming down. They will be good tests for us.
"You can get a massive club, like Man United, coming down and you just don't touch the ball for 90 minutes. That's not really beneficial to us for preparing for the first game of the season.
"So to get a Championship club and a League One club down here is great for us."
Fletcher added: "It's great for us to go and play all the local sides as well.
"We are pleased with what we have got pre-season wise. In every game, we will be working on different things that we want to use or take into the season."
FORMER Pilgrims players Kevin Hodges and Ian Stonebridge will be the guest speakers at the annual general meeting of the Plymouth Argyle Supporters' Club next week.
Hodges is now the new academy manager at Home Park and Stonebridge is one of the youth set-up's full-time coaching staff.
The AGM will take place in the boardroom at Home Park on Thursday, July 12, starting at 7.30pm.
All members of the PASC are welcome to attend, as is anyone interested in joining the supporters' club.