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Club News

Keith Hill On Pre-Season

27 May 2016

Dale will play seven pre-season friendlies this summer, including two at Spotland.

Keith Hill’s side will host Blackburn Rovers and Wigan Atheltic on Tuesday 19th July and Saturday 23rd July, respectively.

After returning from the week long training camp in Tenerife, Rochdale will open their pre-season game schedule with a trip to AFC Fylde on Tuesday 12th July.

Four days later, the squad will be split across two fixtures, with matches against Curzon Ashton and Stockport County confirmed for Saturday 16th July.

The double header at Spotland follows, before Dale complete their pre-season schedule with trips to Macclesfield Town (Tuesday 26th July) and FC United of Manchester (Saturday 30th July). 

Manager Keith Hill explains what he looks for when considering a pre-season opponent.

“A good pitch – that’s one of the main criteria.

“You also want it to be competitive. It’s about us and you learn something about your team all the time. 

“What you don’t want from pre-season is to win every game 15-0 and go into the season with a false sense of security, so they have to competitive. I feel as though we’ve got a competitive edge to all of the games. 

“They’re also all relatively local, which again, is really, really important. 

“For me, it’s about making sure that we get enough games to cover all the players getting at least four 90 minutes out of the seven games that we will have.”

The squad will fly out to Tenerife for the annual week long pre-season camp at the end of June. 

Hill is already looking forward to it.

“It’s a great opportunity for us to really lay down the plans and the foundations for the season.

“We’ve got to get our message across very quickly to the new players that will be coming in, as well as the existing players.

“And it’s then that the squad unravels. As much as we, as staff, do a job, the players select or de-select themselves and it’s brilliant how it all unfolds.

“What we do in Tenerife or across pre-season as a whole is a great indication of the character of the squad and the players individually.

“We’re again in League 1 and it’s a big season for us - we’re looking forward to it.

“It’ll be brilliant going to Tenerife with a new, enthusiastic squad - the existing players at the football club will pass on a lot of the values that we have to the new players that are coming in.”

The full interview is on Dale PlayerHD. 

Rochdale's pre-season fixture list can be found here >

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