Tag Archives: Morecambe

Telford’s Grand on pre-season

Pre-season can just about be one of most boring times of the footballing season. The close season is finally coming to an end and the new season is starting to bubble nicely in the thoughts of everyone’s mind.

Simon Grand during his Southport FC days (c) AFC Telford United website

Simon Grand during his Southport FC days (c) AFC Telford United website

The fixture list comes out and new signings are made as well some players leave for pasture new. But along all that is the thought of pre-season, which can be rather dull.

We caught up with new AFC Telford United defender Simon Grand to talk about what pre-season football is like for a non-league footballer.

Grand joined Telford this summer after two years at Southport FC. He made the move with boss Liam Watson who joined Telford following the final game of the 2012-2013 season.

Grand has played in both the football league and non-league football so he certainly is in a qualified position to talk about the difference between pre-season for non-league and a football league club and there isn’t much of a difference: “It’s not really much different from league clubs. I think the only difference will be between part time and full time. That doesn’t make it easier, just means you squeeze more work into a shorter period of time.”

One myth that people have about pre-season is that all you do as a player is run and run, lap after lap and not even kick a ball until the friendlies take place. But can Grand confirm this really is the case?
“Yes pre-season is all about regaining your fitness from over summer so running is always the case. Me personally I hate it ha ha. Don’t enjoy it one bit because its 8 weeks of pain and graft before the enjoyable football side starts. But it’s a necessity unfortunately.”

As previously mentioned Grand has played both in the football league and non-league for teams such as Morecambe, Rochdale, Aldershot, Northwhich Victoria and Fleetwood Town.

So despite pre-season being tough Grand does have some wonderful memories of pre-season including a trip to Austria Alps with Fleetwood Town FC in 2010, which includes a game against FC Universitatea Craiova which saw the Cod Army lose 3-0 but this trip ranked among the top time in pre-season for Grand: “ During my time at Fleetwood I was lucky enough to go to pre-season training camp in the Austrian Alps. It was hard high altitude training but something different and that made it enjoyable. Also spent a training camp in Ibiza with Carlisle and that was like torture because we weren’t allowed to do anything but train.”

He’s very old school. Lots of running on the running track and no ball work till the friendly games. It’s effective though because at Southport we were part time and one of the fittest teams in the league.

It’s not important too much as the results don’t matter. Playing against better opposition is always good because its good on a personal level to play against top players and good for fitness levels working hard against a better team, which is what pre season, is all about.

But in terms of Indivual games which one of the many pre-season games stand out in the mind for Simon. Well it dates back to 2004 as Carlisle (then in the Conference) played Barrow AFC, who was relegated alongside Grand’s new club AFC Telford from the Conference Premier last season. Grand explains why: “It’s not a big one but I was on trial at Carlisle playing against barrow away. I scored and played well and from there ended up staying at the club for 3 years. We won promotion through the Conference play offs and then won the League Two title.”

Some people claim that pre-season is not needed and teams should be able to start the season on the opening day of the season and be ready for it but that is not the case as Grand will tell you: “ Pre season is a must. I’ve been a pro for 14 years now and as much as I dislike all the running it is vital. Even the first few games of the season players aren’t at 100%. It takes a couple of competitive games to get to full fitness and to gel as a team.”

Looking ahead past pre-season and into the 2013-2014 season Grand believe the Bucks can achieve promotion and said that it is his personal aim to be lifting a trophy to get Telford promoted.


Q and A with Chorley winger Paul Jarvis

Paul Jarvis is a winger for Chorley FC having joined the Magpies from AFC Fylde earlier this year. Having previously played Morecambe, Tipton Town and Lancaster City.

The Non-league scene caught up with the tricky winger ahead of his first full season at Victory Park, the home of the Magpies.

First of all Paul, the new season is just round the corner how much are you looking forward to it?

I’m quite looking forward to it to be honest. I got married a couple of weeks after the end of the season, had a great stag, great day and great honeymoon, relaxed a bit but am ready to get back to kicking a ball now.

Paul Jarvis controls the ball ahead of the Buxton defender.

Paul Jarvis controls the ball ahead of the Buxton defender.

Pre-season has said to be a tough time for footballers, what are your thoughts of pre-season?

It always seems to never be as tough as you think it will be in terms of fitness sessions. The hardest thing is getting used to playing matches again compounded in pre season by playing against league teams who are fitter, stronger and play at a higher tempo.

For Chorley they were due to play your old club Morecambe before it was changed for Blackburn. How much were you looking forward to that game?

I was looking forward to it because I still have a lot of ties with Morecambe, plus my work were lined up to sponsor the game so it would have been the source of office conversation for a few days afterwards.

What was your time like at Morecambe?

As a pro at Morecambe it wasn’t the most enjoyable time of my career ~ they had just been promoted and were looking to stay in the league, so chances for the younger players were few and far between. It’s a shame really as that was not the case under the previous manager Jim Harvey, or seems to be with Jimbo, so I guess I was a bit unlucky in progressing into the 1st team squad when I did.

How pleased are you to see that Morecambe are establishing themselves in the Football League?

I’m glad because it’s a good club, well run, Jim is a great leader and they are competing against a lot of strong teams, so are doing well.

You joined Chorley in February from AFC Fylde what made you want to switch across Lancashire?

Many reasons ~ the history of Chorley FC, as a proper town team with a good fan base. Gaz (Garry Flitcroft) also made it clear he wanted me to be in his team, and was very positive when we spoke. Oh and I had been transfer listed at Fylde!

Last season was a poor one for Chorley how will the new season be for the Magpies?

I think if we carry on the way we left off from last season we will do just fine. We’ve added a few to the squad, we are a very close bunch of lads and staff who play for each other and enjoy it, in my opinion not many teams will be able to match us. I think top three is realistic.

Who are you looking forward to come up against next season?

Fylde of course, and FC United of Manchester.

Thanks for you time Paul and we wish Chorley FC all the best for the new season ahead.