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Phil Parkinson issues keep-fit warning to his Bradford City players
City players must stick to their fitness regime this summer – or face an early return to training.
The squad officially break up for the holidays this afternoon after a final meeting with Phil Parkinson.
Each member will be given an off-season programme to follow and must report back midway through next month to check they are keeping to it.
City’s pre-season will start on July 5 but anyone failing to hit the targets set by fitness coach Nick Allemby will be ordered back sooner.
Parkinson said: “It’s important they have the initial couple of weeks to rest because it’s been a long season.
“But then they start the programmes and we’ll be monitoring them over the summer.
“Everyone will come back in June for some test days to see that they are keeping up with it.
“If they’re where Nick wants them to be, then fine they can have the rest of the time off. If not, they’ll come back in training to make sure they hit those levels.”
Parkinson is currently finalising City’s programme of friendlies during the six-week preparation for next term.
One has already been confirmed against Barnsley at Valley Parade on Saturday, August 11, a week before the new campaign kicks off.
And the schedule is also set to include two games in the south of Ireland, where he took Charlton in 2009.
He is sticking to familiar methods for his first pre-season at the club.
“I’ve always done the same. I like the players to have a mental break but I don’t think you can get the whole summer off and then expect them to walk back in and be fine.
“It shouldn’t be a shock to anyone coming in for tests. The modern-day footballer must be an athlete.
“It’s far more professional than say ten to 20 years ago when players let themselves go and then tried to burn it all off in pre-season.
“It’s also important to keep the basic fitness levels up. That’s why they’ll have to pass the test days.”