Doncaster Rovers: McCann lays out pre-season plans as he looks for more of the same
A little less than a year ago Grant McCann, only a few days into the job, gathered his Doncaster Rovers squad together for a meeting during their training camp in La Manga.
There he laid out his plans and aspirations, collectively and individually, for the season ahead.
That meeting was referenced numerous times in public and private in the months that followed, by McCann himself and, most often, the players.
The targets laid down that day resonated with the squad and stuck with them, almost driving them on towards the success Rovers enjoyed last season.
So it is little surprise that when they head out to La Manga once again on July 1, such a meeting will be held again.
Sheffield Wednesday’s Mallik Wilks pursuit alive and kicking as Owls aim to swoop in
Sheffield Wednesday star ruled out for Bolton Wanderers – Akin Famewo’s return date explained
Morgan Gibbs-White explains Nottingham Forest transfer decision and memories of fans from Sheffield United spell
Alex Miller: Reported Sheffield Wednesday signing should put more fuel in tank of fallen star man
Sheffield United: Boss makes a bold statement about Oli McBurnie
"Speaking to some of the boys, James Coppinger said how important that was for the group," McCann said.
"He said they've never been tasked like that, whether individually or as a collective with targets for individuals and the team.
"What I will say is that we reached a lot of those targets this year.
"Obviously the main target was the promotion we didn't quite get but a lot of the targets we did get to.
"It was the main one where we just fell short."
The trip to La Manga will kick off pre-season preparations in earnest for Rovers.
The squad will report back initially however on June 27 to begin fitness and condition testing ahead of the training camp.
On their return, the calendar of pre-season friendlies will commence with the trip to Rossington Main on July 9 in the traditional local fixture.
The players will be given 45 minutes each in the game at Oxford Road, and the one on the following Saturday at Gainsborough.
Game time will be stepped up to 60 minutes at Halifax (July 16) and Grimsby Town (July) before pre-season is concluded with games at the Keepmoat against Championship opposition in Huddersfield Town (July 23) and Hull City (July 27) where players will be handed a full 90 minutes.
To make sure the whole squad gains the requisite game time, training ground matches will be arranged on the same day as the Huddersfield and Hull clashes.
McCann said: "We'll be doubling up because of the size of the squad with the U23s.
"We wanted the last two games to be against strong sides from higher leagues."