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Jul 13, 2012   |  5:28PM AET

Stead pleased with early progress

Stead pleased with early progress

After five days of pre-season, checked in with the club’s conditioning coach Ken Stead for a quick update on the players’ progress.

After five days of pre-season, checked in with the club-s conditioning coach Ken Stead for a quick update on the players- progress.

BR: Firstly, were you happy in the physical state in which the players returned to training?

KS: Very happy with them. They came back in decent physical condition and mentally, they-re the best I-ve ever seen them. They-re bubbly and cackling and if anything – talking too much! The break did them the world of good. I-ll be happy once we get the full squad back. Kofi gets back today and by the end of next week we-ll have all the guys from the Young Socceroos back. Now, we-ll be working on getting everybody to the same level of fitness.

BR: What do you think of the progress the players have made in the first few days of training?

KS: The guys have worked hard and I-m very happy with their progress. If you look at the end of last year, we had Henrique, Jack Hingert and Shane Stefanutto that were coming back from injury so we don-t want to progress them too quickly. The other one is Ben Halloran who had an injury when he was at the Gold Coast so he missed a large period of time. It-s very important with these guys that we just don-t push them too far. What I-ll be looking at doing once we have everybody in, is getting everyone to the same level rather than have different stages throughout the squad.

BR: With the first pre-season game less than two weeks away, are there certain targets that you need the players to reach before then?

KS: There are certain amounts of minutes that we have to get into their legs before we-ll let them play. But when we do play, what will happen is that we-ll take two teams and everyone will play 45 minutes so they-ll play one half of football. At that phase, conditioning is still very much the biggest thing for us and we need to get the players- minutes up on the pitch.