Leeds United defender Sam Byram told Radio Yorkshire why he feels this current pre-season holds extra significance for him personally.
Byram has also stressed the importance of an intense pre-season period for all of the Leeds squad, as they prepare for a long and testing campaign in the Championship, as the club looks to get into a position where promotion is realistic.
“For me personally, it’s very important. I had a season before where I didn’t do pre-season and then you’re constantly playing catch up and trying to get back to match fitness and it does take a long time before you can play Saturday, Tuesday, Saturday, Tuesday,” he told Radio Yorkshire.
“I think it’s really important that we put the work in now and that should make it a little easier for when we start.”
The advantage Leeds have
One of the main advantages that Leeds have in terms of fitness and intensely preparing for the new season is youth.
Byram is one of several examples of younger players in the Leeds United squad who are well suited to taking on the strain of what pre-season means in terms of a club drilling players into the ground to improve their match sharpness.
The impact on those young legs should be smaller when compared to the more experienced and older professionals, who may take slightly longer to recover between sessions.
Momentum to maintain
Byram was a vital part of the Leeds United side last season under former manager Neil Redfearn.
He played more of a midfield role under Redfearn, but he developed all areas of his game well and built momentum, which creates a little bit of pressure over him to maintain that under current boss Uwe Rosler.
If he trains in the right way, stays fit and gets a full pre-season under his belt, there’s no reason why he can’t hit the ground running in that match against Burnley in under one month.