Alan Smith has talked to the Sunday Mirror today, and says there won’t be a fitter team in the Premier League than Newcastle this coming season.
Alan Smith – Newcastle will be fittest team in PL
Fitness guru Mark Hulse, who was hired by Kevin Keegan at the end of last season, has apparently whipped the Newcastle players into their best condition for many a season, with a punishing pre-season training program (that’s good).
And former England striker Smith, 27, believes that will mean that when things get tough at the end of games, it will not be because of any lack of fitness that the team ends up on the losing side.
Former FA and Crystal Palace fitness coach Hulse, brought to Tyneside by Keegan towards the end of last term, has put Newcastle players under a summer of sheer torture (love it!).
Alan Smith said today:
“All the lads have taken to Mark really well, but his training hasn’t half been difficult.”
“He has really put us through it – but it has been good because it is just what we needed and we realize ourselves that it had to be done.”
“The gaffer has said that, with the size of our squad, we need to be one of the fittest teams in the Premier League.”
“That is why we didn’t really do a lot of football work in the first two or three weeks after reporting back.”
Keegan had explained earlier in the season:
“We are not going to have the biggest squad in the league, so we are going to have to have the fittest.”
“Last season we operated with a very small group of players, and there were times when we paid the price for that.”
“The lads have not even played a single practice match in training. It’s mainly been running and gym work.”
That’s good thinking by Kevin, and it looks like great work by Mark Hulse, along with his fledgling new assistant Robbie Elliott, a local lad and former Newcastle player, who joined the club only recently as the assistant fitness coach.
We bet Robbie’s loving it, seeing the agony on the players’ faces, as he and Mark put the lads through sheer torture- not to be too masochistic about it of course. 😀
Personally we love it.
And it’s great the lads will be super-fit this season, because seriously, it will definitely help us.