Pre-season training is a gruelling time for any footballer, however Dublin-born Ian McLoughlin’s small comfort is that the majority of the fitness work will take place in his homeland.
For the third year in a row, the Dons will travel to Ireland to kick-start their pre-season preparations ahead of the 2013/14 season with the team embarking on a seven-day training camp in Irish capital under the guidance of Head of Sports Science, Conditioning and Fitness Damien Doyle.
Each day will consist of three sessions aimed at improving the players’ fitness levels in time for the start of the League campaign, while Karl Robinson’s side will also take part in several friendlies before arriving back in the county in mid-July.
And McLoughlin, who left his home country to link up with Ipswich Town as a youngster, is looking forward to returning to Ireland next month.
Speaking to mkdons.com earlier this month, the former Republic of Ireland Under-21 international said: “It’s weird going back home to Ireland for pre-season.
“Obviously you’re back home but because you’re training you don’t get to see your family. The Gaffer does give us a couple of days off, though, which I use to go and see friends and family.
“It’s still nice to go back, though. A couple of years ago I was living in Ireland doing nothing and now I get to go back there as a professional footballer so it’s good.”
Before that, however, McLoughlin has several weeks off to let his body recover from the past season with the players not due back for training until late June.
The 22-year-old, though, admits he’ll be doing his best to keep fit while also spending time with his family and friends.
“I’m not planning on doing too much over the summer. Obviously I’ll be keeping fit and because I’ve only just started playing I don’t need that much rest
“I’ll give my body a bit of time to recover from the season and then I’ll get back into it again. I’ll probably hit the gym a lot while spending a lot of time with my family and friends.
“It’s hard to switch off when you’re going back to see your family and everybody’s asking you how you got on but I don’t find it too hard.
“You’re always going to find yourself playing football whether it’s a kick about with your nephew or with friends, so I don’t think I’ll ever properly switch off.”