Plenty of normal folk spend their weekends walking through the countryside and those on a nature trail in the Penrith area at the weekend might have been surprised to see eighteen members of the Reds squad running up a very steep hill.
The fifth training session of pre-season was certainly the toughest with Danny’s boys unable to see the wood for the trees as they encamped on Beacon Hill.
They had to run through the forest and up the hill (over 900 feet above sea level) not once, not twice but five times, a punishing schedule for experienced cross-country runners never mind a group of ‘part-time’ footballers.
The squad has seen plenty of the ball during the earlier sessions but the focus switched to fitness, mental strength, resilience and character in a gruelling Saturday morning stint.
On their return to the training pitch it was a case of more strength and conditioning work under the supervision of former army instructor, Ally Morrison.
Manager Danny Grainger was delighted with the application from the entire squad and confirmed that all the players survived the near two hour session.
Reds will revert to more familiar training routines in their two sessions this week, ahead of the opening home friendly against Blackburn Rovers U23 squad at Borough Park on Saturday.