Walshy’s Blog: Pre-season

Not long now until we get to see the new kit! It’s great to have Puma on board, they’re a fantastic brand to be involved with so the kit should be top quality. It’s a new concept to me to launch it at an open training session, but it’s a great way to get the fans involved. I’m hoping to go down myself! Aside from the new kit it will give the fans a chance to have a look at the players whilst they’re in pre-season training. It’s safe to say that pre-season is much more complex these days with the tests that the players endure. In my day it was all about long runs in Bradgate Park and just pushing players to the extremes of their fitness. Now there are many different methods and technologies used; football has advanced so much! Players are protected much more now and the risk of injury is at the forefront of concerns. So this open session will be a great chance to see how the team is coming along. When I played at the King Power Stadium for a recent event I couldn’t help but notice how firm the pitch was. Nothing like Filbert Street where you’d virtually sink down into the pitch. It shows you what some money can buy!

Still no new signing for City, will there be any? Nigel knows what he wants and what he needs in time for next season but it’s not an easy market at the moment. He needs to be careful not to waste money like last year when the likes of Mills didn’t pay off. We’ve got to look at bringing young players through too to get the right blend in the squad. We’ve got a lot of good players in the team now but need some new additions. Unfortunately, other teams know that we’ve got a lot of money as a club so there’s a risk they might try and take advantage of that in transfer negotiations!

I think the youth development is a massive thing in football at the moment. City have a good history of bringing through youngsters and I’m hopeful that this can continue. Football starts at such a young age now, with players beginning to take shape and parents starting to encourage them from as young as 4 or 5 years old. I think the main thing is to make sure that the enjoyment stays there. The best thing about being a professional footballer is that you’re making money from something that you love doing. Muzzy and I are running soccer schools over the summer, there are holidays camps for 8-16 year olds and we’ve got a number of schools involved. It’s fantastic to be closely involved with encouraging this young talent, there’s a real buzz when you spot someone that you think can be a future star!

There’s a real eagerness about the new season now. The fixtures are out, pre-season’s started and we’re just waiting for some signings now! There’s a lot of excitement over pre-season and seeing how the team is coming along and I’ll certainly be trying to get to as many of the games as possible! I’m just wondering who is going to be the captain now! It’s a big decision for Nigel to make and there are a few players who could step up to the mark! It will really depend on who is looking fit and strong but I think Danns and Kasper could be in with a shout.

Looking ahead to future events the Evening with Mike Tyson is now almost sold out! All standard tables are gone and there are now only VIP options left to purchase. Before that we’ve got our 5-a-side tournament kicking off on 29th July. It’s going to be a great event and there is still time to register to play against the legends so make sure you get involved!