12:00am, Sun 13th Jul 2008
I spoke to Kim earlier today to
get an update on how the first week back had gone and to look ahead to the
first pre-season friendly game at Farnborough on Tuesday evening.
THE WEEK?S TRAINING
Kim was delighted with the players? response to his and Phil?s training regime:
?It?s been a brilliant week. The players have been very positive: no moaning or
groaning, everyone enjoying themselves but working hard. Fitness levels have
increased substantially during the week. We trained twice a day but had a
shorter session on Saturday. Some of the things we?ve been doing in training
are unfamiliar to the players and it will take a while for their body to get
used to them. Other things are more familiar. We?ve been doing a mix of
physical fitness and ball work, including concentrating on passing.?
The only player who?s not been able to join in fully is Manny Williams, who?s
got an ankle injury. Kim commented: ?Manny found it very frustrating having to
watch everyone else and not being able to join in but he managed to do a bit of
running towards the end of the week. I don?t think he?ll be fit enough to play
on Tuesday, though.?
Included in the training sessions have been two Academy players, Delano
Sam-Yorke, who has been offered a contract, and Carlos Talbot. Carlos has been
carrying an injury, so Kim wants to have a closer look at him before making any
decisions about a contract in his case. Several trialists have also been
involved and Kim said that they had done well and impressed him.
Next week will be another intensive week of training as the team catches up
with those sides who returned a week or so earlier.
FRIENDLY AGAINST FARNBOROUGH
Kim is very much looking forward to Tuesday?s game, his first in charge. He
envisages that most of the squad will get some time on the pitch and that he
will start with most of the players who were here last season, so that he can
have a proper look at them and assess their strengths and weaknesses. He
emphasised that he felt it was important that they should be given every chance
to show what they can do. He expects to change things round after half-time and
will probably give any eligible trialists some time on the pitch too. He
explained that they are awaiting international clearance for some of the
trialists, so unless that clearance comes through in time they would not be
able to play. His own clearance has come through but it doesn?t sound as though
we?re likely to see Phil and him on the pitch on Tuesday, since they?ve not
been able to join in all the training and because he?s keen to see what his
squad can do. He described Phil and himself as ?emergency players?.
I asked Kim about his and Phil?s trip to France the previous weekend. Kim felt
that it had been productive and said that he might go back again shortly, at
his own expense, to cast his eye over some more players. He commented that
players on free transfers here were often asking a lot of money and it was
necessary, therefore, to look abroad too. He?s got ?irons in the fire? but
doesn?t expect to make any more signings imminently.
Not surprisingly, Kim doesn?t regard the result on Tuesday night as the most
important thing but would like to put on a good display for Woking fans, being
aware that it is a local derby as well as a friendly. He is aware, though, that
it won?t be easy as Farnborough have two friendly games under their belt