Town number two: We’ll get players back for pre-season as soon as it is safe to do so

PUBLISHED: 07:44 15 July 2020 | UPDATED: 07:44 15 July 2020

The Exmouth Town flag that can be seen at home and away games. Picture MARTIN COOK

The Exmouth Town flag that can be seen at home and away games. Picture MARTIN COOK

Archant

Exmouth Town assistant manager Andy Rawlings says that the players – and management – are itching to get back into some form of pre-season normality.

Town players have yet to report back and the Town number two explained why when he said: “We’d love to have the first-team squad of 20 back and, as we have a ‘we are one club’ philosophy, we’d love to also welcome back the other senior team’s players to Southern Road but, and this is the crunch of the matter, as things stand we cannot do that safely within the guidelines we are all meant to be currently observing.

“I hear of other clubs having 20, 30 and more at pre-season sessions but given that we are still asked, indeed required, to work with groups of six to ensure everyone’s safety, we’d be struggling to comply with that and so Kev [Town boss Kevin Hill] has said we’ll get back into it when we are given licence to train in what we know as normal numbers.

“Let’s face it, there’s only so much work you can do in groups of six and, in the case of personal fitness, that is very much something we’d expect all our players to be on top of given the level we play at.

“Here at Town we are fortunate enough to have a superb bunch of honest lads who, I know, will be maintaining good levels of individual fitness in their own way.”

When Town do report back they will be welcoming some new faces and one of them has a surname which is synonymous with all things Exmouth Town!

Danny Pym is the son of Melvin Pym who has a stand named in his honour at Southern Road.

Town number two Rawlings added: “Danny [Pym] has said he will come along to our pre-season and we’d love to see him. We also have three or four other players who have said similar and we’re looking forward to welcoming everyone back.

“Hopefully it will be towards the end of this month that things get relaxed sufficiently for us to have what we’d call ‘normal’ pre-season sessions when we’d expect to welcome back players with a good level of personal fitness to step straight into full contact training.”

Rawlings then turned his attention to the amount of work that has been carried out at Southern Road since last season was ended so suddenly, adding: “My wife Jo and I went down to the club last Saturday and the atmosphere and general togetherness was something very special.

“My own football journey has been a long one, but you know, hand on heart, I don’t think I have ever come across a club where so much is done by so many – and all for one particular cause, the well-being of a football club in which everyone, be that players or supporters, seems to want to be part of.”

He continued: “In terms of the presentation of the club last Saturday, the only way I can describe it is by saying that frankly, it’s in a league of its own.

“The good folk who have been working so hard throughout the past few months have certainly delivered some very special results and now I can’t think of any way better to reward that sort of effort and commitment by us, as a football team, hitting the ground running as and when the new season does finally get underway.”

Rawlings added: “Southern Road was sparkling last Saturday and that’s testament to the efforts of those who have been involved in the various projects.

“It really is quite remarkable – not to say humbling – to think we have got that sort of movement of folk behind us at the club.”


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