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COLUMN: “I Don’t Do June!” Steve Whitney Talks Training

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I don`t often agree with my colleague Ryan Allen (!) but in his column about early pre-season starts for some clubs, I wholeheartedly do.

I have been a manager for many years myself and have always had an understanding with clubs – “I don`t do June!”

My final game was May 23rd, so we haven`t even had a month off yet, but because most of the opposing clubs in the league we`re in have already started pre-season training, I am having to relent and hold our first session next Tuesday (June 27th), mainly to stop some lads going elsewhere!

But I totally agree with Ryan, June is far, far too soon.

Players, managers, coaches and fans need to re-charge their batteries, take in a bit of cricket, tennis or whatever other summer sports grab you.

What I couldn`t fathom when I first began my involvement in non-League football writing was just how busy things were in the close season.

Okay, there`s a bit of a lull shortly after the last balls are kicked in anger, but after a couple of weeks on the beach, it`s back to business with managers coming and going, players agreeing to sign, re-sign, pen new contracts etc., and to be honest, it`s the busiest time of the year for us.

Another thing I can never quite understand is the mass hysteria that awaits the fixture lists being published!

You know who is in your division, and you know you have to play them home and away, so quite why there is such excitement ahead of publication is beyond me!

There used to be an FA ruling whereby clubs weren`t allowed to play football matches in June.

I understand that rule no longer exists – mainly due to the plethora of tournaments nowadays and the introduction of the Europa League and its early stages.

I can see that, in the not too distant future, clubs will start arranging pre-season friendlies in mid-June and then before you know it, they`ll be no close season at all.

Come on, I want to get back to “not doing June”. It`s too hot anyway!

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About Author

Former Swansea City and Kettering Town defender who has been managing the likes of Kettering Town u18s, Rothwell Town, Desborough Town and Wellingborough Town for 33 years as well as being technical director at AFC Rushden & Diamonds. Began in non-League journalism as editor of Team Talk magazine back in the early 1990s and then as editor of Non-League Daily, joining Pitchero to set up Pitchero Non-League in January 2011. Also works for the National League.

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