GALLERY: Reporter Gavin Caney joins March Town United for pre-season training

MARCH Town United boss Brett Whaley has been putting his new squad through their paces during pre-season. Reporter Gavin Caney donned his boots to find out how the Hares were preparing for last night’s derby clash with Wisbech Town.

“Look at the journo, he’s got new boots,” shouted one voice as I sheepishly waddled over to meet the Hares’ new-look squad. Having played football for years it wasn’t the expected bucket-load of banter which was making me feel nervous. It was the sea of cones that Whaley was mapping out.

A gentle warm-up - allowing me time to catch up with friends Kyle Nolan and Lewis Cook - soon made me feel at home.

That comfortable feeling quickly vanished as Whaley beasted us through a series of punishing shuttle runs. For someone who claims to be relatively fit I promptly realised that I was out of my depth.

I caught my breath just in time to excel in a set of long-distance challenges. Running at one pace, for a long time, is an art I’ve mastered, so it must have been pride - or the fear of letting my side down - that got me through more sprinting drills afterwards.

After an exhausting hour-and-a-half we were finally allowed to touch a ball - such is the joy of pre-season training - and I slotted into an unfamiliar right-back role to face speedy winger Ash Brand.

Luckily for me I ended up giving a steady performance which Gary Neville would have been proud of - or at least I thought so - and ended up relieved that I hadn’t completely embarrassed myself on the night.

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However, the session made me realise March’s players are much fitter, technically gifted and committed than I ever could be - so it seems my future lies in writing about football, not playing it.

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