THE hallmark of a successful team is the ability to score late on in matches.
It is a quality not lost on first-choice Sheffield Wednesday goalkeeper Nicky Weaver.
Hard graft and honest toil will be the order of the day at Hillsborough this summer, with Gary Megson expected to put his players vigorously through their paces when his squad report back for pre-season training on Wednesday.
The Owls chief’s objective is to turn his team into one of the fittest in the division next term. For that to become a reality, Megson is determined to whip his players into a shape over a five-and-a-half week period, starting from June 29.
Weaver has told The Star he is unfazed by the prospect of gruelling training sessions following a lengthy vacation.
He said: “It is important we work hard as a group over the summer because we need to hit the ground running and get off to a good start next year. We need to try and be one of the fittest teams in the league. More matches are won and lost in the final 10 to 15 minutes than ever before so our fitness levels need to be good.”
An ardent Owls fan, Weaver is itching to get back into the swing of things, saying: “I have recharged my batteries and I am ready for pre-season now.
“As you get older, you understand what your body needs and how much rest and preparation you need to do. There were a couple of weeks where I did nothing but I have maintained my fitness levels and I feel pretty good.
“It (pre-season) is probably a little bit different for goalkeepers. These days, goalkeepers don’t tend to do exactly the same as the other outfield players. Most of the time, I will be working with goalkeeping coach Andy Rhodes.”
Weaver, snapped up on a free transfer by former boss Alan Irvine following his departure from Burnley, kept 12 clean sheets last season.