Dougie Flockhart is one of the key figures at Castle Park both on and off the pitch.
The goal-kicking wing/full-back has proved to be one of Doncaster Knights most consistent performers in recent years as well as doing a top job as fitness and conditioning coach.
The popular Scot but will be looking to impress on his return to action in the club’s final warm-up game against Darlington Mowden Park on Saturday.
Flockhart says he is happy with the squad’s level of fitness with the start of the season less than ten days away.
“It’s been a bit different this year because we finished last season so late,” he said.
“We had just five and a half weeks off whereas it’s normally seven.
“We brought in the new signings and those who missed the end of last season due to injuries, in ten days earlier.
“That worked well and they got to know each other before the other players came in.
“We are blessed compared to some of the other teams and some of the players who join us from other clubs say they were here, there and everywhere going to the gym and other places. whereas we’ve got a gym and such on site.”
Flockhart admits there is a fine line to be drawn when it comes to the intensity of fitness training.
He said: “I try and condition the boys so that they can be 90 per cent of their potential, which might seem strange, but we do that so that they can last the season out.
“When you are pushing it to the limits every day in training there is the risk of burn-out.
“We’ve gone away from the days when you were just trying to make people powerful and the main focus now is to try and keep them on the pitch.
“We do a lot of training compared with some other teams so the boys have got to be conditioned in terms of hamstrings and calves and so on.
“I split the squad into three groups so that I can cater for the specific needs of the players within each of the groups.”
Looking ahead to the new season, Flockhart said: “We’ll probably have to raise our game but I think we’ve got the players to do it. We’ve certainly got more strength in depth this season.”