By Rob Cornell
Dependable centre-back Paul Robinson said that he's now fully recharged for a tough pre-season after playing almost solidly for two years.
The Dons defender is one of the first names on manager Neal Ardley's team sheet and he took on the captaincy last season in the absence of the injured Barry Fuller for the run-in. During that time, the 35-year-old committed to a new deal with the club and he now feels rejuvenated after a gruelling run of games.
"Robbo" spoke to our new premium, iFollow channel on his return to training with the squad this week and supporters can read some of the key talking points in our transcript below, with the full version available to subscribers.
Q - When you're away, is it really important to shut-off from here? Are you able to do that fully, in this day and age of social media?
Robbo - Yes, I think you're right. It's massively important after the couple of seasons we've had of back-to-back with the play-offs. It didn't give us much of a break last summer so the lads had a really good opportunity to take a really good break and refresh themselves physically and probably mentally more importantly. They've done that and everyone is excited and looking forward to getting back to work and having a really good go at League One next season.
Q – At this time of the year, Jason Moriarty and the Sports Science department play a very important role. Have the players come back in tip-top condition?
Robbo – Yes, the days are long gone of players coming back a stone, stone and a half over weight. You're measured to every precise detail for when you go away and are expected to be in that kind of shape when you get back. The pre-seasons have become a lot more scientific and a lot more sensible now, instead of a bit more barbaric of 'run, run and then when you can't run, you're going to run some more'. It's a lot more scientific, the footballs come out and it's more the other way now, it's starting lower and working up to peak at the right time. You enjoy it and the sports science behind it and I've missed it.
Q – What do you do away from here during the summer, in terms of keeping yourself fit?
Robbo – I took a longer break that I normally would. I spent a good couple of weeks just making sure I did nothing and rested up and recharged really. Like I've said, I've played a hundred games over the last two years with a three or four week break, so it's quite a lot for me. You get a good programme to work to and keep yourself in shape and it's kind of nice anyway to stay in shape and go to the gym over the Summer, so I've been doing that. You do just enough to be ready for when you come back, but not enough so that you're tired when you come back.
Q – We've got three new signings already – Kwesi is still away in Norway, but Deji and Cody are here taking part. They've had a good welcome from the squad?
Robbo – They've had a really good welcome and Cody knows a few players already, including playing against me. It's excellent and shows the club is looking to go out and bring in players to take us forward and I'm sure the manager wants to improve the squad and the club as a whole each year and to keep on improving and progressing and that's what he has done and it must be exciting for the fans looking on too.