CARL McHugh is benefiting from the best pre-season of his career at Argyle this summer...
...and believes the intense schedule is having a similar effect on his team-mates.
The 22-year old has been revelling in the challenge of ensuring he is fully prepared for the season ahead after some necessary recuperation of mind and body from a gruelling 2014-15 Sky Bet League 2 campaign.
“It was badly needed,” said Carl. “I was struggling a little bit with my knee at the end of the season but, touch wood, it’s felt good since we came back.
“There were a few others, like Peter [Hartley] and Rubes [Reuben Reid], but Reuben played 75 minutes last night, so that’s really good for him and his rehab. That’s really the aim for everyone – be fit for the first game of the season.
“Mentally, as much as anything, you need the break after the disappointment of the play-offs. But we’re back at it now, and looking forward to getting going again for another long season.”
Since Derek Adams rendezvoused with the squad at the beginning of the month, the Greens have been put through a rigorous fitness schedule to make sure each player is at their peak of performance come August 8. It may not sound like the most enticing of prospects to some, but the Irishman would not have it any other way.
“It’s been really good,” said Carl. “The first week or ten days was really tough, but really enjoyable, and I feel good. It’s probably been the best first week or two in pre-season that I’ve had.
“Everyone was fit coming back. If you were not you would’ve been figured out; there’s no hiding place on that running track! Everyone’s looked really fit, so it’s been a good start.
“We had football sessions in the morning, which was really tough. Then it was the running track in the afternoon over different distances for each day, so that was really challenging. Everyone came through and that’s the main thing.
“We’re still doing double sessions a good few days a week, so it’s still a bit tougher. It’s obviously a bit different in pre-season because you’re going into games maybe not as fresh as you would during the season, but that’s what it’s about: getting the work into your legs whatever way you can.
“There haven’t really been that many injuries or niggles, so that’s the main thing at this stage of the season. We’ve all got a good bit of game time, so we’re just looking forward to the start of the season now.”