David Longwell discusses the first couple of weeks of pre-season training for the Academy.
Similar to the first team, Town's Academy have been back in pre-season training now for a couple of weeks and are looking to hit the ground running with another impressive season in their new 19/20 campaign.
Academy Manager David Longwell caught up with Shrewsweb and expressed how pleased he was with what he's seen from his group since they have returned to training.
"It's been good," said David. "Myself, Callum McKenzie and the Fitness Coach have worked really hard to put a good six-week programme together that incorporates all the pre-season games and particularly focusses on their fitness.
"The boys have come back into training with a really good attitude, a lot of the lads that were here last year have come back in a really decent condition.
"We always try to look at combing improving their fitness whilst incorporating some tactical information. I think sometimes you can spend too much time on fitness but these boys are young and they need to develop. There's a lot of work being done here physically and tactically.
"A lot of the stuff we have done in the first nine days has had a lot to do with pressure and counter pressure as well as building up their fitness, the other side has been looking at building out from the back, then over the next few days we'll look at the organisation and how we can build on from the middle to the front.
"From what I've seen so far there has already been a clear improvement from the areas that we've been focusing on."
David mentioned he has been keen to look at bringing players up from the lower age categories as well as bringing some new players in on trial over the pre-season period.
"It's been difficult with the younger lads as they are still playing games as their season is still ongoing but some of the boys will definitely move up. We've got to be careful that we limit them as they don't want them to do too much and risk injury or fatigue.
"That means that I've got the boys playing a maximum of 60 minutes in a game to reduce the possibility of any injury. We've also had a few lads on trial at the moment."
Town played their first pre-season game against TNS U19s last week. The game ended 1-0 to TNS but David was pleased with what he saw from his side despite the result.
"I actually really enjoyed the TNS game even though we lost, that doesn't matter it's a pre-season game at the end of the day the score doesn't really matter.
"I think they were U19s and we had a real mixture as we've got a few players missing just now but I thought the players were really good.
"First part of the game I thought TNS were better they played really well and we were a little bit off the press. We played the game in three 30 minute blocks.
"In the second and third period I thought we were excellent we really henned them in their own half they just couldn't score.
"If you looked at all the stats we were well above them, they were better in the first period but we still had chances we just lacked that little bit in the final third but as I mentioned earlier we've not really focussed on that in training too much but we're going to spend a lot more time on that.
David briefly mentioned the academy's next couple of pre-season fixtures and what he expects from them.
"We play Haughmond on Wednesday and we play Newtown on Saturday so two good games which will be very tough they're both men's teams so that will be a different dynamic but I think for these boys it's really good for them to understand the physicality of men's football.
Town play Haughmond tonight on the STITC pitch just outside the Montgomery Waters Meadow. Kick-Off is 7pm and is free to attend.