Worksop Town coach knows fitness will be key

Worksop Town head coach Mark Whitehouse has stressed the importance of strength and conditioning after the Tigers returned to training.

Tuesday, 20th April 2021, 8:11 am
Mark Whitehouse has stressed the importance of fitness after Worksop returned to light training. Pic by Lewis Pickersgill.

It was the first time since December that Craig Parry’s side stepped out onto the Sandy Lane turf, as they took part in their first re-engagement session ahead of the 2021/22 campaign.

“It has been so long since we have been out on a pitch and working with the players,” said Whitehouse.

“There is a lot of preparation that goes in; it has been a long time since the season ended. But myself, Paz [Craig Parry], Luke [Jeffs] and Bax [James Baxendale] speak almost every day, so certainly from our perspective, it doesn’t feel like it has stopped regarding work behind the scenes.

“We rate that [strength and conditioning] really highly, especially on a pitch which is 3G because of the fitness that has to go into this.

“As we have said previously, the first two sessions will be light and enjoyable for the lads, just for them to get to know each other.

“We’ll then be getting them into game situations and playing throughout May before having June off, and then starting preseason and making it hard for them, and then we will be in a positive place to come back ready for that first game in August.”

It was also the first session that Luke Jeffs, Whitehouse, and James Baxendale were able to fulfil their new roles in the management team.

Whitehouse believes that he did not feel like there was a massive change to the norm, as well as praising Baxendale on his first session as a player-coach.

“They [the roles] haven’t changed one bit; Luke and I have worked well with each other last season and for the two seasons before that,” he continued.

“If anything, because Luke has stepped up into the assistant manager’s role, there is more emphasis on myself to lead; I am comfortable with that.

“We have brought Bax on board and he has adapted to his role really well and has really helped out, especially in the offseason.

“That is exactly what I want from Bax, to be vocal and wanting to be providing encouragement and give confidence to the lads and he has done that in abundance really and we cannot ask more from him.”