Some things get easier the older you get – pre-season is not one of them.
At 32-years of age Alan Smith is currently in his 15th pre-season as a professional player but rather than curse at the fitness coach, or moan about the tough sessions he has learned to embrace it.
The Dons players have been back in training for over a week and are currently enduring three-sessions a day as they aim to be in top condition in time for the season, which starts in a month’s time.
Speaking to mkdons.com from the team’s base in Dublin, Smith said: “I’ve enjoyed it, everyone struggles which is nice! It’s always tough, regardless of whether you are 18 or 38, I don’t think anyone finds pre-season particularly easy or particularly nice but you have to help each other through it. The lads have been brilliant throughout the first week.
“In pre-season the aim is to make sure you can do every session and try to stay away from injuries and little niggles. You do feel tired but the progression you make from now and when the season start is worth it, even then during the first two or three games of the season you’re not at your full momentum.
“Hopefully everyone can get back from Ireland in good shape and we can get through our pre-season games looking forward to the first game of the season.”
Smith admits he still struggles with the ratio of work to rest but knows all of the hard work will be worth it come Saturday 3rd August, when the Dons travel to Shrewsbury.
He added: “The hardest part of these three-a-day sessions is the time between recovery. We’re up at 7am on the beach and we have another session at 10.30am and it’s strange because in between I know I want to go to bed but have to get up very soon, and I never know if I feel worse for it or not!#
“You have to look at the bigger picture – every day of pre-season training that you do the season edges one day closer so you just get stuck into it."