Defender Jim McNulty spoke to Dale PlayerHD at the end of day five about a range of topics including Tenerife, his contract extension, playing all 46 league games last season and the permanent addition of Niall Canavan.
“This is pre-season 12 or 13 for me and they don’t get any easier,” laughed McNulty.
“It has been tough but I’m starting to feel the benefits. The pain is starting to leave the body a little bit and the benefits are starting to enter the body. I can feel it when I go to close a player down, when I recovery quickly back to position or a track a runner, or when I’m suddenly on the ball and have to travel.
It’s starting to feel easier.”
He believes Sunday’s rest day came at the right time and has had a positive impact on the players.
“It was just getting to that stage where people were starting to worry more about their blisters on their feet and the ache in their legs. I know that I was a touch guilty of that. The work-rate was still 100-percent from the lads, which it always seems to be. Anyone who comes into the Rochdale building just works hard for the team. The hard-work wasn’t in question but the Gaffer sensed it was time to give the lads a rest. The rest day was really good for Monday’s double session. I felt it was a really good learning day and a good coaching day from the staff. It was a good day all round.”
McNulty, who played every minute of all 46 game league games last season, signed an extension to his current contract this summer, keeping him contracted to the club until 2018.
He admits he’s thoroughly enjoyed his first season at Dale and is looking forward to the next two years.
“I’m very pleased to have played all 46 games. I wanted it at the start of the season - the target was to be fit and available for every game, so to play every minute of every league game is amazing.
“I love working with the Gaffer. He’s one of the most enjoyable managers I’ve played under in my career so I was quite keen to extend.”
And he reveals how the extension came about.
"We did our end of season review and I made an offer to the Gaffer at the end of it instead of being the other way round,” laughed McNulty.
“The Gaffer seemed to laugh at first but he weighed it up and accepted it, so I’m very happy to have extended anyway and I’m looking forward to another two years.”
Niall Canavan, who was on loan at Dale during the second part of the season, signed a permanent two-year-deal in the summer. McNulty is looking forward to playing alongside him in defence.
“He’s a great addition and I’m delighted. Niall came and got a slight taste last season and it was a successful period, which warms the heart for a player when that same club wants you back. No doubt he would have had other suitors in for him but I think the fit is really right for Niall and it’s right for the Gaffer as well. I’m really pleased that he’s here."
The full 9 minute interview is on Dale PlayerHD.