First Team

Fighting fit

3rd July 2019

Tom Taylor has explained how the backroom team gets the best out of pre-season training to ensure the first-team are raring to go come the start of the season.

The Jambos’ Head of Fitness is currently putting the boys through their paces at the team’s pre-season training camp in Dublin.

Aided by technology, he’s fine tunes training programmes for the players despite some being at varying levels of fitness, and he has revealed the challenges of having such a short space of time to work with the first-team before competitive action starts in mid-July.

Speaking to HeartsTV, Tom said: “Out here, we’ve got a few individuals who are on slightly different schedules and programmes from the rest of the squad, for different reasons.

“Uche Ikpeazu is coming back – although he featured at the end of last season – on a slightly moderated programme. John Souttar had an extra few days off after being involved in international duty and Aidy White, we’re looking to reintroduce for the first time in a while.

“These guys, we’re moderating slightly and looking after their programmes to make sure that they are getting through the week and are able to feature in the game on Saturday.

“Of course, it’s about finding the balance between running and ball work. The first few days the focus is more towards general fitness, but still with the ball involved.

“Now, with the Betfred Cup games starting so soon we don’t have time to not involve the ball and the tactical work.

“We have to plan everything to make sure that they’re getting both the tactical message and the physical outputs that we’re looking for. We’ll obviously monitor that, re-evaluate and plan for the week.

“It’s a very short preparation for the start of our competitive fixtures. The off-season is also very short nowadays, particularly for us having been involved in the Scottish Cup Final so the players had just over three-and-a-half weeks off which kind of means that they come back in the shape where we can just kick on.

“Between the physical side of things and medical measurements we work together to keep building players’ fitness and their preparation for the start of the season.”

Tom’s interview is available to watch in full on HeartsTV by clicking here.