GALLERY: The heat is on as Stags players return for pre-season training

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Mansfield Town players came under the scrutiny of the club’s brand new fitness testing equipment today when they returned for a gruelling first day of pre-season training.

The Stags have invested in new monitoring equipment at the request of manager David Flitcroft as he builds the players’ fitness levels towards their first pre-season game in Portugal on 7th July.

Flitcroft explained: “It’s all about monitoring and making sure players have come back in the right form in terms of their body fat, conditioning and dynamics.

“Today they’re having a maximum heart rate test and body fat testing. I have asked the club to invest in the testing equipment. It’s really important.

“Last season they went to Nottingham University. But your work’s not being tested and that’s something I am big on making sure that the training programme is working, making sure your lower limb work is right and your upper body conditioning is good.

“You can only do that by being tested. We have invested in that and it’s now an area we’ll be able to check on. Every day we’ll collect the data and then going one better the next day.

“This first week makes sure they are prepped physically and we can build them up to that sprint. It’s a base level fitness.

“We have a game in a couple of weeks time so you’re always working towards that Dundee game.”

Flitcroft has already had the players coming in over the summer break, following a fitness programme.

“They’ve had a good while off so they’ve had a programme through the off season when the lads have been coming in, working with the fitness coaches just to base them out and make sure they stay in front of themselves,” he said.

“Last season we didn’t have many players who did a 46-48 game season. We had a lot who played 20-24 games. So we felt an off season programme would benefit us.

“Visually they look good. Obviously we’ll get to the depth of that with the training they’re doing.”