Shaun Derry raring to go to get Cambridge United shipshape for new season
U's back in preparation for Sky Bet League Two campaign
Shaun Derry has contrasted the difference 12 months can bring on Cambridge United’s return to pre-season training.
The U’s squad were put through a series of mobility tests on Monday before heading to the Cambs Glass Stadium on Tuesday to undergo the dreaded beep test.
“The summer now seems to fly by,” said head coach Derry.
“The good old-fashioned days where you have a six or eight-week break and then you come back and hope to lose three or four pounds, have definitely gone.
“The lads have had an off-season programme that they’ve followed to the absolute letter and all of them have come back in good shape.”
There were five new additions to be introduced to the squad in Jabo Ibehre, David Amoo, Gary Deegan, Dimitar Mitov and Emmanuel Osadebe after the U’s did their summer transfer business swiftly and early in the window.
And that was a marked difference to the closed season of 2016.
“It was very different to 12 months ago where we were spending too many hours on the phone at silly o’clock sometimes and at the football club most days and trying to construct a club to take us into the season,” said Derry.
“That’s different this year. We’ve released six, brought in five, the three loans have gone back to their
parent clubs and I think that kind of transition will be a lot more seamless this year than last.”
Derry is happy with the squad that the U’s have built, but he has not ruled out bringing in some new additions, providing that they fit in with the dynamics of the group.
“In terms of the personnel and the numbers that we’ve got, and the availability of the players that are all out on the training field at the minute, I’d back them all to be able to pull on the shirt.
“I’d be confident going into the season with the group of players that we’ve got.
“We all know that there’s going to be certain players that become available because they’ve gone back to their respective clubs and for whatever reason the manager might decide they’re not going to take them forward – that type of player might be available.
“And obviously you’re looking at an option of a loan potentially.
“We haven’t got any loans in the building at this moment in time, we might but they have to be the right people.
“I just look at our group at the minute and the dynamics of it, I think, determines the type of player to come and play for us.”
But the head coach will be patient until later into pre-season to see what players may become available on loan.
“If you’re talking about Championship/League One clubs, a lot of them want as many numbers for pre-season for their games programme,” said Derry.
“As the weeks come to a close for pre-season, they determine what squad they want to take into the season, that might allow us to be a little bit more patient about a loan coming.”