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‘We’re in good shape’ – Rennie reflects on day one

Bristol City Head of Medical Performance Dave Rennie and players Zak Vyner and Cameron Pring discuss the first day back for pre-season.

Players and staff reported for day one of pre-season, with the squad put through their paces in a day of cardio, strength and football-based exercises.

These included SDS tests (Single-Double-Single) running to check their aerobic ability, Heart Rate Variability (HRV) tests to check variations between heartbeats and CMJ (Counter Movement Jump) tests to monitor power levels.

The SDS tests were carried out indoors at the Bears High Performance Centre to allow for a controlled climate and therefore enable the same test to be repeated in the same conditions later in the season.

🎥WATCH: DAVE RENNIE'S ROBINS TV INTERVIEW

Rennie explained to Robins TV: “I’m at a new club so I’m excited by the challenge of that. There’s no points to play for though so there’s a thin line between performance and injury. We need to walk that carefully but, having seen the boys this morning, we are in really good shape.

“We’re in good spirits too. We set a number of expectations at the end of last season, so after Brentford we had a really good conversation with the staff and players. We’ve made minor alterations over the summer in terms of the intensity to the close-season programming. The staff were brilliant adapting to those changes. More importantly the players accepted it, took the gauntlet and ran with it really well.

“Neither players or staff enjoy pre-season because there are no points to play for. But in terms of developing robustness of players, nine out of 10 players that complete the six-week programme with gradual reintroductions and increased load leave them in a really good position to be robust enough to cope with the demands of the game.”

 

Rennie went on to explain the importance of keeping the players fit and the high standards that have been set by the club to ensure that remains the case over the course of the campaign.

He said: “In terms of availability for training and in games, if we can’t get them available for training then the coaches can’t get them to a level and drill them to the point where they know where they are on any given day. That’s really important for us a department, so we’ll set ourselves high standards and they’ll be benchmarked against things like UEFA Champions League standards for availability in both training and in matches.

“We’ll make ourselves accountable for that, but I think what we’re trying to do here is develop a shared accountability between everybody that is involved. So it’s not the medical team’s problem if a player gets injured, it’s not just the coaches, there’s also the players and lots of other things involved. We have to make everyone aware of our roles within that situation and develop a shared accountability which should leave us in a better state than we were last year.”

After a lunch break back at the Robins High Performance Centre, Monday afternoon allowed the players to get back out on the training pitches and return to the familiarity of a ball at their feet.

“For the players it is always nice and exciting but what you do see is they need to dust the cobwebs from their feet as well,” Rennie explained. “You’ll see them struggle even with basic passing related activities this afternoon but that will improve and those drills will sharpen up over the next week to 10 days.”

Defenders Vyner and Pring also caught up with Robins TV after their morning tests, with City’s left-back noticeably left red in the face after being put through it, but he is keen for the challenge.

Pring said: “The first couple of days you’re pushing yourself against the boys, it’s a competition to see who can get the best times. It’s good to see everyone, catch up on what we’ve been up to on our time off but I can’t wait to get going again.

“Considering my time off I feel really good. I got some good timings, which I think you can tell by my red face. I pushed myself as hard as I could have, I feel good and I’m ready to get going.

“I dread it, I don’t like all the running but you have to do it, everyone is doing it together so you can’t complain.”

“It’s hard, as you can tell,” added Vyner. “It’s nice to see some familiar faces you’ve not seen for a while but it’s good.

“The best thing about the first day is getting around the lads. Everyone knows it’s a tough day for the running but you get to see the boys again and know this starts the season. It’s definitely a good day for everyone to get together and get some camaraderie with the new lads straight away.”

🎥 WATCH: PRING AND VYNER REFLECT ON PRE-SEASON RETURN

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