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Club News

Roberts Flying Start

9 July 2013

New signing Mark Roberts is ready to fight for a starting spot in the team next season after a rigorous first week with the Cod Army in Austria.

The 29-year-old, who signed for Town as a free agent from Stevenage, has played for seven different clubs throughout his professional career including Crewe and Accrington Stanley.

With years of experience playing at different levels and 300 appearances, the defender knows how important competition within the squad is to ensure success at the end of a season.

“Although the start of the season is still quite far away, we’ll see in the games to come that there will be plenty of fighting going on in amongst the squad for positions,” said Roberts, “and hopefully that can only raise the standard.

“You can see on the training ground, whether it be the football or fitness side, there’s plenty of competition. The lads are pushing one another, and that can only improve the overall standard.

“The manager wants us to push ourselves to the next level because, at the end of the day, we are competing for those starting shirts. 

“There are many players in this squad with plenty of experience of success, and that’s going to be important. 

“It’s always a long season, so we all need to pull together and use that wealth of experience we’ve got, and I’m sure that will make us stronger as a result.”

Fleetwood flew to their Austrian base on Saturday and wasted no time in loosening the legs by beginning early fitness work.

“They’re a bit stiff (the legs), we’ve been working really hard, but the fitness levels of the lads has really impressed me so we’re pushing each other on, and we’ll all feel the benefit come the end of the trip.

“They’re long days but enjoyable, three sessions a day but that’s what pre-season is all about – pushing your body, improving your fitness levels and working as hard as you can.”

And despite only arriving at the club a week ago, Roberts is delighted with how well he has managed to settle in with the Cod Army.

“It feels a bit longer (than a week) that I’ve been here. I’m really enjoying it. The lads have taken me in, made me feel really welcome and have really gone out of their way to ease the transition from one club to another.

“There are quite a lot of new lads in and around the place means they’re all trying to get to know each other, which is another thing pre-season is important for. The more we gel off the pitch, the better results you’ll see on it.”

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