Preperation Is What You Need
PLAN, plan and plan. That has been the key to Argyle's pre-season this year.Carl Fletcher has spent a lot of the off season working to make sure the Pilgrims can get straight into the hard work now they are back from their summer break.
Pre-season is one of the most dreaded times of year for a player, but Fletch insists the planning they have done will make sure they are ready for it.
"They know they've got to do the training and that it will be beneficial for them," he said.
"They know they have to do well and every session is a chance to impress us to make sure they are on that team-sheet on [August] 14.
"It's just a case of easing them in really. It's not a case of burning them out straight away. We want to keep injuries down and its just a case of judging where everyone is.
Plymouth has a wide range of facilities, both natural, such as Dartmoor, and man-made, such as the new Life Centre, and Fletch intends to make the most of all that's available.
"We'll be up at [UCP Marjon] a lot. And we'll be at the Life Centre. It's only a 30-second walk, isn't it?" he said.
"But there's enough hills around Plymouth for every man and his dog. We'll be over at Saltram, Central Park, Dartmoor. All over the place."
As well as all of the training, matches are a vital part of pre-season. This year, Argyle have got a full fixture-list, with away trips to Yeovil Town, Truro City, Weston-super-Mare and Tiverton Town before two home games against Championship Birmingham City and League One Preston North End.
Fletch admits it was hard to get the fixtures sorted, but is more than happy with the games that await.
"I think it was a case of who we could get down here. A lot of teams sort it out in February/March etc. and, at the end of the season, we were not sure of where we would be this year so we couldn't plan too much," said Fletch.
"It's good to get a nice balance, going to the local sides, and getting the higher league sides down will be a good test for us.
"If you get Manchester United or someone down, you won't touch the ball for 90 minutes. That's not beneficial for us. It's great to get two good clubs with good followings down here and it's great to go to the local ones, too."