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FLEETS' THOUGHTS - BLOG #2

19 July 2012

In his second blog for the official website, striker Stuart Fleetwood talks pre-season and goal-line technology...

"Being paid to get fit" - The best quote and piece of advice I've been given to get me through pre-season. As I have been fortunate enough to have been employed as a footballer since I left school, I can only imagine the determination it takes to do an eight-hour day then have to drag your body to the gym for an extra curricular workout.

Our recent training camp to Portugal was an added bonus. It was great for motivation and important for all the new lads to get to know each other. Of course training in 30 degree heat is beneficial for fitness, but times were limited to pre-10am starts or after 6pm in the evening. (There are a few lads not so sun worshipping as others – suncream was in high demand).
 
The games come thick and fast from now on. You can do as many drills and runs as you want but nothing compares to minutes on the pitch. Match fitness is what the six weeks of pre-season is designed for. 

With three or four games against lower placed opposition during pre-season, it can be difficult to get your mind focused on the job in hand.  For those teams it's a huge opportunity to play against professionals and, in some cases, catch a manager’s eye. So professionalism is key, even though the main aim for us is fitness. This year we are all about results and winning so it starts in these games!
 
With the European Championships now over, the talk in the changing rooms has been of Spain's unique formation and masterclass in the final against Italy. They are by far the best international team of all time in my opinion, with no sign of slowing down in the future. The English side have a long way to play catch up against Spain, Portugal, Italy and other top teams. It still baffles me, the huge price tags placed on British players. It must be because they are in such short supply compared to other nationalities. I can think of no other reason.

Since my last post, Sepp Blatter has sanctioned the use of goal-line technology. I can see both sides of the argument. I know the Frank Lampard ‘goal’ in the last World Cup, and Ukraine’s ‘goal’ this summer would have changed the game if allowed, but the controversy in football is what fills pubs and households across the world. It's what gets analysed with the pundits and makes for more interesting debates when human error is involved. I don't want to see the game mirroring an NFL American Football game that is stopped and started every minute and turned into a four-hour spectacle.

With the season weeks away, the teams are slowly finalising their squads and preparing their club for the battle of promotion or relegation. Each team believes they have the right tonic for success and that their preparation is best. We at Luton believe this whole-heartedly that , with our fans’ support and players and staffs' efforts, we CAN achieve...

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