Mandela Egbo says he and his teammates are raring to go after returning to Sparrows Lane for the first day of pre-season testing on Thursday.
The Addicks undertook a series of tests in SE9 on Thursday and Friday before returning to full training on Monday.
Fans can watch the interview above, or read on for a full transcript...
Manny, you’ve been working hard in the off-season as we’ve seen on your social media. How have you found it?
“I’ve been working very hard in the off-season. To be honest I like that time of year, because you get to just beast out in the gym and people have seen the pictures on my socials! I’ve enjoyed my off-season. I got away as well so I got a bit of relaxation time. I’ve had fun and I’ve enjoyed myself, but I’ve also worked pretty hard, even on holiday so I’m ready to go and buzzing for the season to start.”
You’ve just finished your first day back at Sparrows Lane for pre-season. Can you tell fans what that entails?
“In the first couple of days back we have a whole load of physical tests - from jump tests to strength tests, groin squeezes and of course the dreaded running tests! We’ll have one of those running tests today [Thursday] and then another one tomorrow [Friday]. Based on the results of them we’ll get our pre-season programmes and specific runs etc. We see the physios who make sure we’re all in good nick and then it goes from there in the first two days. Then on Monday we’re in it fully with the footballs, I hope!”
We had our fixtures through on Thursday morning. Have you and the lads been scanning them?
“The first one is always the one that you look at. That’ll be an interesting one because of course we play them in pre-season so that should be cool. It’s a pretty local London derby so that should be fun. Naturally you then look to see where you’re going to be at Christmas and we’ve got Leyton Orient away on Boxing Day, so we’ll be home for Christmas which is lovely for our families. Carlisle away is sometime in November - hopefully their pitch holds up! It’s a great fixture list; we couldn’t ask for anything better and I can’t wait to get going.”
A couple of hard weeks’ graft here and then we’re off to Spain. How important is that time for the team?
“The whole pre-season is important but that week away, in terms of camaraderie and all of the lads getting to know each other a bit better and if new signings come in by then you get to know them as well. That week away is normally very key for the team and the team’s knowledge of each other and knowledge of what the gaffer wants. The better that trip is, the more chance you’ve got of having a good season to be honest with you. Hopefully that’s all stress-free and we have a good time out there.”
How much are you and the boys looking forward to next season?
“When you get that break and you come in on the first day, you’re always over the moon to attack. There’s always that fresh energy, the sun’s shining and it feels like you can really kickstart again and refresh your goals. Obviously, we have goals that we’ve set as a team and individually everybody will have theirs. You get that freshness in the team and the camp - everybody with their tans and smiles on their faces! I can speak for myself and the rest of the lads when I say we’re all buzzing to get going.”