Harrogate Town refreshed and ready to go ahead of Huddersfield Town friendly
Harrogate Town’s players are feeling much fresher than they did this time last year and will be ready and raring to go when they run out at Huddersfield Town on Saturday.
Simon Weaver’s men kick-off their pre-season schedule with a trip to tackle the Championship outfit at the weekend, nine days after reporting back from their summer break.
They have however been able to enjoy an extended period of rest this time around, having barely had any time off last year due to the Covid-19-enforced delay to the conclusion of the 2019/20 campaign and their National League play-off final success.
First-team squad members have been put through their paces during a training camp at Carden Park in Cheshire this week and boss Weaver has been impressed by what he has seen.
“The lads are looking good, they’ll be ready for Huddersfield come Saturday,” he said.
“They’ve still got a double-session to get through on Thursday and they will all be in on Friday as well, but the group is fit and strong.
“If anything they’ve managed to go up another level in terms of their fitness levels. We’ve always had a fit bunch, but they’ve clearly been doing their work over the summer.
“We’re not carrying anybody. It’s really pleasing and exactly what you want to see as a manager.”
And Weaver believes that a big part of the reason for his charges returning to work in such good shape is because they were actually able to give their bodies - and minds - a break in the weeks that followed the conclusion of 2020/21.
“I have detected a freshness,” he added.
“That edge has returned, there’s a real appetite about them and I think a lot of it is to do with the fact that they’ve actually been able to rest properly this summer.
“We couldn’t really switch off after the emotion of the play-off final win last year and all of us - players and staff - need a spell away from it all to try and recover.”
Weaver is expecting a tough workout against the Terriers on Saturday, but says that all of his group are looking forward to the challenge of pitting themselves against a side who were playing in the Premier League as recently as 2019.
“It’s definitely one that we will all relish, the lads are champing at the bit,” he continued.
“It’s a first-team friendly, so I am expecting them to put out a strong side, which will be a great test.
“All of our lads should get at least 45 minutes.”
Saturday's fixture kicks-off at 1pm.