Shrewsbury Town Physio Chris Skitt believes this season’s squad could be the fittest he has ever worked with.
Skitt made some changes to the strength and conditioning programme this summer and he believes that the benefits are already beginning to show.
“I think this is probably the best strength package that they’ve ever had. The gains that they’ve made already are certainly the most significant I have seen.
“At this moment in time, with it still being pre-season, it is hard to say, but I think come the first game of the season in a week’s time we probably will the fittest.
“It’s now a matter of keeping them the fittest them have ever been and more for the rest of the season. It’s not just about getting to the end of pre-season and leaving them, it’s about getting as close to 100% as we can and then seeing if we can surpass 100%.”
Shrewsbury Town manager Paul Hurst has already made it clear that he wants his side to be the fittest in League One next season and Skitt believes that could give Town the edge.
“There’s no hiding the fact that we won’t have the biggest budget, so we’ve got to find other ways of making sure that we have the edge”, said Skitt.
“The easiest or most obvious way of doing that is making sure we are the fittest or strongest and the most capable of competing.
“There’s a heavy reliance on my team to make sure we are creating players that are robust, strong, quick, fit and from speaking to the Gaffer at length we are working really well and improving each day.”
Town have had an almost clear bill of health this summer and Chris is now hopeful that he can get to the end of pre-season without picking up anymore injuries.
“At this moment in time we are doing quite well on the injury front”, Chris acknowledged.
“There’s obviously been Shaun Rowley who had one of those innocuous non-contact injuries, which you are going to get through the season.
“We have been quite strict on the prehabilitation, which reduces the risk of injury through exercise and then the testing we have done this year is much more in depth.
“We’ve done gait analysis, posture photos, muscle strength testing, balancing off quads against hamstrings, so we have done a lot more testing, which seems, at this time, to be improving the robustness of players.
“We are then linking everything into the GPS to make sure that in terms of player load they aren’t doing stupid amounts one week and next to nothing the next.”