Shrewsbury Town welcome Newport County to the Ludlow Football Stadium for our first 90-minute game of pre-season.
Town have so far played three ‘bounce games' to get some match practice in during the first weeks of pre-season training. First up was TNS with Aaron Pierre and a trialist getting the goals for Town. After that we welcome Wolves U23's to Sundourne with an Ollie Norburn penalty starting the scoring, Abo Eisa got two and Kian Taylor finished the scoring. While in Portugal we played Sheffield Wednesday, there were no goals for Town but players started to get 60 and 90 minutes game time.
ShrewsWeb sat down with Town manager Sam Ricketts ahead of the Newport County game and started by asking how Portugal had gone.
"It was a really good week away, the only disappointment was picking up a couple of injuries while we were out there", said Sam.
"It was a really productive week of training and social exercise."
The training was tough with sessions in the morning and afternoon but there were also other activates to help develop the squad. One of these was a session in Freediving to make the players think differently.
"It was something which the players would not have done, and probably will never do again", said Sam.
"You are getting players to hold their breath underwater and teach them how to do it better. The idea is to try and make the players understand what is possible.
"If you ask someone to hold their breath underwater you might get to 30-40 seconds, but this is about showing that your body is capable of doing far more than you think.
"A few lads were getting to over two minutes in the end, I think Omar was the best at two minutes 38 seconds. Ryan Giles was about one minute fifteen or so but after going through the techniques he was well over two minutes.
"It shows when you put your mind to something your body is capable of doing that. It's what we are trying to get across this season, it's about breaking down those preconceived ideas of what is possible and if you believe something is possible then you can achieve that.
Tonight's game against Newport County kicks off at 7 pm and it will be the next step of the pre-season programme. County just missed out on promotion after getting beaten by Tranmere Rovers in the Sky Bet League Two play-off final.
"I'm hoping for a bit of realism where we will face problems that we will face in the league", said Sam.
"Pre-season is a hard one, for the first few games, everyone comes back and will try to pass the ball around and keep it nice and pretty.
"That isn't how the first game of the season will pan out, we are trying to make sure we face the tests we will face in the league."
Over the ‘bounce games' the manager has been playing a number of players in several positions to take a look at the formation and how everyone fits in.
"It's still about seeing where players can play to an extent", said Sam.
"I don't want a big squad so there will be times of the season when people will need to play in different positions.
"It's a case of moving a few around pre-season and see where we get to while also trying to build relationships.
"There are only a handful of players who have been here longer than twelve months so it's still a very fresh group.
"There is still work going on there while still trying to implement our style of play."
Tonight's game kicks off at 7 pm at the Ludlow Football Stadium full ticket details are here - Newport County Ticket Details.