Fitness key to a storming start, says Skegness Town boss Nathan Collins

George Hobbins in action for Town last season.George Hobbins in action for Town last season.
George Hobbins in action for Town last season.
Lilywhites want to replicate last season's early success...

Nathan Collins wants to make sure his Skegness Town squad are fighting fit for the start of the new season.

The Lilywhites manager was already ramping up the fitness work in training before this week’s announcement that league and cup action can begin in September.

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Now he wants to make sure his squad have the energy to replicate the blistering start that saw his side comfortably in the Northern Counties East League Division One promotion spots before the previous campaign was cancelled.

“Last season we started mid-June and did three sessions a week, the lads were unbelievably fit and that’s what put us top of the league for five months,” he said.

“We were just running over teams really.

“But lockdown has given lots of people the chance to work on their fitness. A lot of teams will be coming back really fit.”

Prior to last week’s announcement, Collins told The Standard that he has pre-season friendly matches pencilled in and ready to be confirmed once clubs got the all-clear.

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This week the Football Association revealed that contact training for groups of up to 30 can begin, with friendly matches and football festivals able to take place in August. League and cup action can begin in September.

The news will be welcomed by the football community, including Collins, who has been made to realise how important the sport is to him during lockdown.

“For all of us, non-league football is a grind,” he said. “Training midweek and travelling Saturdays.

“Sometimes you moan about it, but when it’s taken away it will have made a lot of people realise what a big part of people’s lives it is, and what a release from work and daily stresses it can be.

“When you’re training or playing you’re not thinking of work or anything else.”