Dr Will Abbott explains off-season testing


Groups of men's first-team players were back at Sparrows Lane last week for off-season testing ahead of their full pre-season return later this month.

Director of Performance Services Dr Will Abbott explained: "The players at the back end of last season were given a very thorough and individualised plan consisting of some pitch-based running work and some gym-based strength work, as well as a specific nutrition plan. We’re about five weeks into that at this moment in time and we wanted to get a gauge as to the progress that had been made.

“They’re doing a time trial fitness test, so the players have got a set amount of time to cover as much distance as possible, and that gives us an indication as to their aerobic capacity.”

This is the first time that the squad has been called back ahead of pre-season. Abbott joined the club from Brighton and Hove Albion in January and sees this new initiative as a key element in establishing the Addicks as one of the most physically commanding teams in the country.

“There’s a couple of reasons,” he said. “First, the off-season - so the period of time between the end of last season and the start of this season is slightly longer. What we want to ensure is that the players return to us for pre-season in the best possible physical condition.

“Secondly, and probably more importantly, we want to be a team that is physically dominant. It’s something that our Manager Nathan [Jones] repeatedly says. It’s something that he’s very clear on. It's something that us as a group of staff are very, very aligned with. Being a physically dominant team doesn’t just happen - it’s a result of hard work and consistency of effort over time. 

“So with the programme that the players have completed in the off-season, we were really keen to use this as a window of opportunity to develop some of those physical qualities. Obviously we’ve got a really important season coming up here, and we want to be ready to go from day one.

“It worked really well and it went very smoothly. The players’ application has been fantastic. It’s great to see everyone’s faces again and we’re really looking forward to the start of pre-season come the end of the month.”

It's time. Be there. Click here to purchase your 2024/25 season ticket.

Read Time: 2 mins