Berwick Rangers coach Myles Allan caught up with the club’s official website this week to discuss the club’s pre-season so far, ahead of the ‘Gers’ first friendly action this weekend.
Allan appears to be happy with how things have been going in training, as he begins: “Personally, I’ve been happy with how things have gone so far. The players have put in a great amount of effort.”
Players such as Kevin McKinlay and Lee Hamilton have already told of how much they’re enjoying the club’s pre-season work so far, and Myles explains that he’s pleased to hear it – whilst also offering a potential explanation.
“It’s obviously a good thing if the players enjoy what they are doing and, if the comments from our players are positive, then that’s a good start.
“The days of hill runs and sand dunes are, thankfully, long gone for most coaches. Players tend to see a lot more of the ball than they used to.
“And, from a players’ point of view, I can see why training with a ball is more enjoyable than training without one. However, whilst it’s great when players enjoy training, it must also be benefifcial.
“The key aim of pre-season is obviously to build fitness, but you can do that basing sessions around match situations. A lot of our fitness work so far has been centred around short, intense matches within the squad.
“As well as building fitness, an additional benefit of that is that by playing more, it familiarises the players with each other’s games.
“Hopefully when the fixtures get under way, we’ll see the benefit of that.”
Myles is working with the first-team after spending last season as one of the club’s Development Team co-managers, and he also offered some clarity on how his role has developed during the off-season.
“The manager started speaking to me about my role towards the final month or two of the season. He asked me if getting involved with the first-team was something that I’d be interested in pursuing, which of course I was.
“I had already dipped my toe in the water somewhat, being involved on match days in the last couple of months of the 15/16 campaign.
“For me it’s an opportunity to develop as a coach and to learn from the gaffer. He has very defined ideas and he is very clear what he expects from the players.
“Obviously there are differences in terms of the objectives of both sides. Whilst it’s always good for the Under 20’s to win, the main priority for them is definitely their development. In the first-team, winning is definitely the priority.”
And the former Burntisland Shipyard boss will be hoping that by offering his input to the first-team, the ‘Gers will be able to build on the form that sees them remain unbeaten at home in competitive action during 2016. After taking an open training session on Old Shielfield last weekend, the coach will now be looking forward to seeing the first-team back in action on Shielfield Park, though he does admit he enjoyed last weekend’s session at the home of East of Scotland’s Tweedmouth Rangers.
It was good to return to Shielfield last weekend. It was the first time I’ve seen Old Shielfield, and it was also nice to catch up with Dennis (McCleary), Lyndsay (Flannigan) and Pea (Ian Oliver) again!”