It's that time of year again when we head off for our week-long training camp in Tenerife, in preparation for the new season, which will be upon us in a blink of an eye.
This is my fourth time on the pre-season trip and I am once against truly grateful for the opportunity to come and report back to, you, the supporters.
As you’ll be well aware, the Gaffer has conducted his business early this year, with all five out of contract players tied up for at least the 2018/19 campaign before a single ball was kicked in pre-season, while Stephen Dooley, James Finnerty, Bradden Inman, David Perkins, Aaron Wilbraham, and MJ Williams all joined early doors, too. With that in mind, a 25-man playing squad has travelled.
Tenerife is a week away from any distractions, one of hard-work and one to bond with new team-mates. Last year, many of my diaries commented on the team spirit and the camaraderie, and I think it's safe to say that togetherness shone through as we battled back from a 12-point deficit to avoid relegation in dramatic style on the last day of the season, as well as embarking on the memorable Emirates FA Cup run.
I'm pleased to say that I've been accompanied by my assistant, Greg Jones, this time around, who I'll be able to share the load with, allowing us to hopefully produce more content as the week goes on. For the first time, we’ve introduced our social media timeline log, bringing together all our posts from the day, which have been published on our Instagram and Twitter feeds. This is to give you a first-hand flavour of how the day unfolds.
The Chairman once again joins Russ Green on the trip, while Director Bill Goodwin is a first-time attender. Paul Hazlehurst will be sorely missed this year. His quiet and unassuming character, and his wit and sense of humour brought the camp to life last year. He lived and breathed Rochdale Football Club, immersing himself in all things Dale, with a huge love of everything about the place, particularly holding Keith Hill in high regard, while taking a keen interest in tactics and team selection. I'm so glad he had the chance to come on last year’s trip and experience it.
We’ve enlisted the help of Ian Henderson, who will be recording daily diaries for us. This is another new addition, and will offer a player’s perspective on the week-long stay at the T3 complex. He’ll give an in-depth description of the sessions and the general mood around the camp. You can view his first diary for FREE on iFollow. Enjoy!
You can keep up to date with the stay on Tenerife at www.rochdaleafc.co.uk, Facebook (www.facebook.com/officially.rochdale), iFollow (www.rochdaleafc.co.uk/ifollow/)
Instagram (@officiallydale), Twitter (@officiallydale) and on YouTube (www.youtube.com/officialrochdaleafc).