Head Coach Ricky Hill Speaks on Positive Start to Preseason

Ricky Hill

As Monday’s practice came to a close, Rowdies head coach Ricky Hill spoke on the training sessions so far and what his expectations for preseason are. Hill also commented on how this preseason is different than last year’s, while also sharing his thoughts on key offseason roster moves.

On the players’ intensity during the first couple training sessions:
“I’ve been very pleased by the effort put in by the players in these first couple days of training. They’ve all come back in good condition. We understand that it’s impossible for them to come back ready for match play but it seems that they’ve all looked after themselves during the break.”

On the team chemistry:
“We’ve welcomed the new players in and all of them seem to have adjusted well to our squad. It is a great group of players, all of which are humble and hard workers. We’ve been sensible with regards to the amount of work we have given them in the first couple of days, but all of them seem to push each other along in a positive manner.”

On how the 2014 Preseason compares to last year’s preseason:
“This preseason is a lot more sensible than last year’s, as we had the commitment to play at the Disney Pro Soccer Classic. It takes time for players to get back into form and this year, I feel they are getting the adequate amount of time to prepare themselves for preseason matches. We want to avoid any preseason injuries and we are taking all the precautions to make sure that we have a smooth preseason. We want all our players fit and healthy so we can be competitive as a squad. We have a number of new talented players and whoever is in the Starting XI should work even harder knowing that we have several guys on the bench who are eager to show their skills on the pitch.”

On having depth in the left-back position:
“In my previous three years, we never had what I would like to have considered an out-and-out left fullback. Now we have the luxury of potentially having two, although Anthony [Wallace] had been playing in the midfield at Colorado and that is where we initially hope to slot him. Blake [Wagner] is also offensive-minded but he is a natural left-back. It’s great to have a balance that we’ve not had in the past and this will allow us to play both wings more comfortably than we have in recent seasons.”

On adding players to the roster as preseason rolls on:
“We haven’t finished our building and we are still looking at filling in several spots on the roster. If we look at last year, Georgi [Hristov] came to the squad in the 12th hour and had a spectacular season. As preseason unfolds, we will continue to see what holes we have as a team and address those issue

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