Joe Rafferty reflects on pre-season so far…
One of the longest serving players in the squad, he is no stranger to a pre-season under Keith Hill or the annual week-long stay in Tenerife. He admits it’s a tough seven days but says the lads enjoy having using of the excellent T3 facility.
“This is my sixth time coming here and the facility is unbelievable. The only bad thing is the walk up the hill to training, although we roll down it afterwards!
“We’ll miss this place – we’ll miss all the facilities and we’ll miss being away together. Coming away on pre-season helps with team bonding, especially helping the new lads settle in, because we’re around each other 24/7 more or less.
“The two new Irish lads are great lads – we all get on with them already. Most of us already know Jordan and Bradden because they came on loan last year. Big Wilbs up front brings experience, as does Perks, who already looks like he’s going to be a great player for us. These two are exactly what we needed this season – they are top players.
“I’m rooming with Jordan (MJ Williams) at the moment and he’s quite annoying even although he’s a new lad, but I’m half enjoying his company every now and then,” he joked.
He continued: “Personally, I’m feeling good. I’m a bit tired, but overall good. We’ve got our second pre-season friendly on Tuesday and I’m looking forward to playing the matches. That’s why we do all this training – the double sessions and putting in the hard-work - so I can’t wait to play all the games.
“The quality has been great. I’d say we’ve gone a step higher than last season so far, that’s how it feels. But we’ve got to keep going now and keep on improving.
“We all knew that coming back in from day one that we needed to improve. As good as it was on the last day of the season, and as good as it felt – it’s arguably the best I’ve felt in football, we all know the season overall wasn’t good enough. We need a massive improvement, and up until now, it feels like we’re heading in the right direction.”