First Team

Boys Buzzing to be Back

21st June 2019

Pre-season training officially got underway today as the players returned to Riccarton following their summer break.

The boys were put through their paces by Head of Fitness Tom Taylor as they all faced the dreaded YoYo (or bleep) test.

The next few days will be even tougher, as they head to Gullane Dents before taking on Arbroath on Saturday, July 29th.

The beach trip - if you could call it that - is being repeated following last year's success. Although not necessarily a fun experience, right-back Michael Smith acknowledged that it is now a crucial part of pre-season preparations.

"It's a horrible place, but it's good for you. You've got to think about that.

"Part of that really helped us at the start of last season, we were over-running teams. I'm sure the boys will just be thinking that way, and we'll get it over and done with."

The skipper, Christophe Berra, echoed those sentiments: "Last year was the first time I've ever done it, and it was very difficult. It's a break from the training pitch, it's a bit of different scenery but it's one of the toughest things we'll do. 

"It'll be tough work but we're looking forward to it, getting on the training pitch, and getting the fitness levels up and working on things for when it comes to match day."

The Jambos got off to a flying start in the league last season and enjoyed a Betfred Cup run that got them to the semi-finals. Michael Smith is keen to at least repeat that feat, as he acknowledged what a rollercoaster last year was.

"Last year we gelled quite quickly together. This year, we know each other well and we've got a good core to the team.

"Obviously, [we want] to finish higher in the league. We got to the semi-final of one cup and the final in the other, so it'd be nice to win a bit of silverware for the club.

[We want] to progress this season. We dropped off badly last season and we want to nip that in the bud this year, start well again hopefully and keep it going."

You can watch our behind-the-scenes video of the first day at Riccarton on HeartsTV, by clicking here.