Work is continuing for Dale’s younger members of the squad this close season as they get themselves ready for the new campaign.
Those aged 21 and under have been attending three sessions a week since the season ended, and defender Joe Rafferty admits he’s enjoying working hard and keeping active.
“I like to keep myself fit all the time," Rafferty told Dale Player. "I’m not the type of person who likes sitting about doing nothing, even on my day off I’m out doing something.
“We’ve been in the gym a lot, we’ve been doing weights to get us ready for the season and to make sure we’re ready for the physical side of the game. I’m enjoying that, I’m enjoying come in and I’m enjoying being around the place.
“Pre-season is always going to be hard but this will make it a little bit easier than it would have been if we hadn't done any work.”
The 19-year-old is joined by the likes of Jamie Allen, Joe Bunney, Darcy O’Connor and Scott Tanser who all have been given a session plan to stick to during the close season and Rafferty says it has helped him get to know the first year pros better, particularly Bunney who joined the club late last season.
“It’s hard when you come to a team and you don’t know anyone. He’s the same age as me so I wanted to make sure that he knew all the lads and that lads got to know him well. He’s fitted in perfect.”
Rafferty penned a new one year deal at Dale last month and he is already looking forward to the new season.
“I wanted to get my contract sorted as soon as I could so I knew where I was for next season. I enjoy it here, I enjoy coming in, I like being around the place, I like the players and the staff so it was the right thing to do and the right decision to make.
“Obviously I want to play every game of the season and I’m going to try and do my best to do that. I’m going to work hard, get my head down and try my best to play every game, that is my aim. I know it might not be possible – I might get injured (touch wood I don’t) but playing every game is my main aim.”
You can listen to the full interview with Joe on Dale Player.