Sheffield Wednesday are back in training and this is Darren Moore's to-do list
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Darren Moore, his coaching staff and of course the players have a great deal of work to do over the next few weeks and leading into their first pre-season friendly at Alfreton Town on July 2 – and beyond.
There’s a whole lot to be considered, but what is this pre-season all about? Here are a few to-dos in Moore’s in-tray.
As is the nature of the beast, it’s the only real topic on everyone’s mid at current; who’s coming in – and who might be moving on.
Wednesday have seen several senior players leave the club since the end of the season and including last season’s loan lot, they could be seeking to replace 13 players if last season’s numbers are what they’re aiming for.
David Stockdale and Ben Heneghan are in the door with more to follow. Moore is known to be keen to get players in and settled as early as possible, giving him and his coaches the best chance to get their work into the squad.
Expect the next couple of weeks to be busy on that front.
The work that goes into pre-season isn’t just to raise fitness levels in time for the start of the season.
Fitness coaches will maintain that it is more about building the ability to get fit and stay fit, something Wednesday squads have routinely struggled to achieve in recent years.
Testing has taken place on players’ bodies in recent months and routines tweaked to better suit the needs of individuals. If the next few weeks can be used to better prepare the players for another gruelling League One season, it can surely make a huge difference to their chances.
All whispers coming out of the club suggest that after a Wednesday more or less settled on a 3-5-2 system for much of the season after injuries took hold, tactical flexibility will be at the forefront of Moore’s thinking.
The Owls did switch to other systems at times – most notably an ill-fated move to a back four in the play-off semi-final defeat at Sunderland – but the coaching staff will no doubt want to drill other tactical options into the squad over the next few weeks.
Moore has spoken a number of times about the importance of time on the training ground and shape is very much a part of that focus.
It’s a serious business, but pre-season is seen as a hugely important time for building team morale ahead of the new season.
New faces, initiations and so on, big personalities such as Stockdale need time to ‘bed in’ alongside their new teammates and there’s no time like the present on that front.
Their trip to Portugal will be a big part of that, no doubt, and there’ll be stuff along the way to bring the squad – new and old – together.