Town brave heat in land of Braveheart

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IT wasn’t so much about earning their pounds sterling as shedding pounds in Stirling for Fleetwood Town’s players yesterday.

No sooner had the Highbury squad arrived at their Scottish training camp at Stirling University than they were put to work running around the loch.

It’s the start of a intense week, culminating in a friendly against Partick Thistle in Saturday, designed to ensure the squad are in peak condition for their second crack at promotion to the Football League via the Blue Square Bet Premier.

And assistant manager Craig Madden was impressed by how well the players have knuckled down to the task at hand.

Micky Mellon’s No.2 said: “Some are flying, some seem to be biting the bullet in the heat, but the majority look to be in good condition.We are delighted to be here to get some good work in.

“When I played, pre-season was about getting fit but those days are gone. These players are athletes and they usually come back fit. They just need the fitness levels topping up.

“They had six weeks and a few days off, which is enough. I was crawling up the walls after the first week because I was bored, so I think they are glad to be back and it looks a very strong squad.”

It’s also an early opportunity for Town’s eight new signings to bond with their team-mates ... and to impress the management.

Madden added: “Richard Brodie looks a real athlete but it’s very early. Paul Edwards looks very good - very strong and athletic. As long as you look after yourself it doesn’t matter what age you are.”

New keeper Danzelle St Louis-Hamilton says it’s all about developing team spirit - but there is a competitive edge.

He said: “Everyone is fighting for positions, so you want to try to get as fit as possible. But everyone is helping each other because we are a team.

“I have looked after myself (over the summer) and done quite a bit of running and weights, but when you are training by yourself you can’t push yourself as much as you can with other people around you.”

*FLEETWOOD Town’s fixtures for the coming season are to be revealed today after all.

The Football Conference had warned their publication would be delayed as a result of Rushden & Diamonds’ appeal, which the FA was due to hear today, against their demotion from the Blue Square Bet Premier.

However, the Northamptonshire club last night withdrew their appeal, meaning that fixtures for all three Conference divisions will be announced at 11am today.

Town’s Blue Square Bet Premier fixtures will appear on The Gazette website.