With pre-season training starting tomorrow for The Bully Wee’s new-look squad, Barry Ferguson spoke to the official website ahead of what’s set to be a busy summer period.
After returning from a family holiday, the Clyde manager was keen to get preparations underway for the 2015-16 season.
“I’m looking forward to tomorrow,” he said. “I had a great time being away with my family but it’ll be good to get back out there and start working again.
“We actually had all of the boys in for a meeting and a relaxed chat not long after the end of the season and that went really well, but the hard work begins now. I’ve already had meetings with Bob (Malcolm) and Mark (Roberts) and we have the whole pre-season schedule mapped out, right up until the first competitive matches.
“I’ve very much got my way of doing a pre-season – yes, there’s a time and a place to go for a long run but I believe in doing as much as possible with a ball involved.
“During my career I always felt that I got more out of pre-season in terms of fitness when it was done that way and I’ve worked with a lot of fitness coaches who agree.”
One man who won’t be taking part tomorrow is forward David Gormley. Barry explained why and also commented on how pleased he was to have secured his most recent new signing of the summer:-
“I had my eye on David for a while and I was keen on getting him in in January, but we couldn’t manage it. I’m delighted that we’ve been able to get the deal over the line now. He’s another good addition to the squad and the dressing room and he’ll add some extra firepower that we definitely missed last season.
“I’ve given David an extra week off so he will start with us next week. He’s played a lot of football recently and was still playing for Auchinleck this month, so it’s only right that he has a proper break and I think he’ll benefit from that later in the season.”
Gormley is the ninth addition to the squad this summer, but Barry was keen to put the record straight in terms of the club’s player budget:-
“I’ve heard some crazy things about the club over the last few weeks and it’s simply not true. There’s been a small increase to the budget for the new season, but we’re still in the middle of the pack compared to the other League Two clubs and what they are spending.
“I’ve had to work really hard to get the guys to come to Clyde and it’s also to their credit that they wanted to come and buy into what we’re doing. None of the deals happened quickly and most of them took many months and many meetings with the players before they were finalised.
“We maybe don’t have a lot of money, but there are other things that we can offer players in terms of the environment they’ll be playing in, how they’ll train and a hunger to achieve something as a group.”
Barry confirmed that four friendly matches had been arranged so far, including a game against Lowland League side East Kilbride on Saturday 11th July:-
“We’ve got the Highland Tour, East Kilbride and a closed door match against Queen of the South. I’m considering a fifth match and I have some options for that, but I haven’t made my mind up yet. I don’t want to play too many matches and also bearing in mind that we have two cup games before the league gets underway.
“The Highland trip will give us two really tough matches but it will also be great in terms of getting the boys away as a group. It’s something I’ve been planning since about February, but I had to duck and dive as funding it was difficult. We also had to give the players plenty of notice so that they could organise time off work.
“The whole squad is travelling up but it’s certainly not going to be a ‘jolly’, in fact it will be the toughest part of our pre-season. We’ve got a full training schedule lined up for the four days and it’ll let the boys see what a full-time environment is like; some won’t have experienced that before. We’ll be doing double sessions on Thursday and Friday between the matches. At night, there will be time for the players to eat together and get to know each other a bit better.
“I always enjoyed friendly matches up North when I was a young player, you always got a tough match. We know Wick and Brora will give us the same.”