HYDE United players have been warned their every move will be monitored as preparations for next season started in earnest.
But just because they are back in training does not mean they will be getting paid.
New manager David McGurk had his new-look squad in from Thursday, June 27 ahead of the Tigers’ bid to make the Evo-Stik League Premier Division play-offs.
It meant they will be doing a week longer than previous seasons in a bid to get new signings settled and used to the way he operates after replacing Darren Kelly.
And technology will play a part as everyone will be fitted with GPS trackers so details on endurance and fitness can be gathered.
However, McGurk said this is the time when his squad’s true commitment is put to the test as they will be doing it without financial reward – meaning the labourers, a painter and decorator, PT teachers and football coaches have to do it as well as their day jobs.
He said: “It was good to get back on the training pitch with the boys.
“We will be using a similar plan to last year’s pre-season but have added in an extra week this time around.
“We have players who have holidays booked during pre-season, which is frustrating but understandable at the same time.
“Pre-season is a big commitment for the players as we asking them to come in for eight weeks, work hard and not get paid!
“All the lads don’t start getting paid until the season starts. That’s the same with most part time non-league clubs.
“But the players know they have to put the work in to be in the squad for the first game so we don’t have many missing sessions.
“This is all along with working in their other jobs and we have to find the balance between the hard work and the enjoyment side of the game.
“They will wear GPS vests where we can monitor the distance the players are covering and what intensity they are working too.”
As well as hard work in the sun, hopefully, McGurk and assistant John McCombe will also be using pre-season to gauge what they need in terms of new players.
Liam Tongue, who wore a Hyde United kit as a youngster, Louis White – from Rochdale’s Under-18s – and Bailey Gooda were added while goalkeeper James Hodges returned.
But the manager may bring in even more, especially as he sees his side in action, with friendlies having started on Tuesday, July 9 against Colne and continuing on Saturday, July 13 at Silsden before they take on 1874 Northwich at Ewen Fields on Tuesday, July 16.
McGurk added: “Our thoughts are never far away from pre-season planning on the pitch and we are delighted with how our recruitment has gone so far.
“But we will be using pre-season to run the rule over several trialists and to keep tabs on trialists at other clubs.
“There is a lot of movement pre-season and we have to be on top of the market and ready to move when the right player comes along.”