Whilst the senior squad continued their preparation for the new season north of the border, the club’s under 21s embarked on a tough opening to their pre-season schedule with a behind closed doors friendly with Galati on Tuesday afternoon.
The Romanian side finished sixth in their country’s top flight last season and they ran out as 4-0 winners at Compton Park.
Coach Mick Halsall would doubtless have preferred to have finished on the winning side but he felt that his players will definitely have gained from the experience.
He said: “Galati had a lot of experience in their side and it was a very hard test for us as our visitors showed a lot of quality on and off the ball as would be expected from a team that played in the Champions League two seasons ago.
“They were much more advanced than us in their pre-season preparation as they start their season in ten days so it gave all our players the work they required in trying to get fit for the start of the new campaign.
“We played two teams in 45 minute blocks which allowed the players to train again the next day as the game itself was classed as a training session.
“Within the two teams we had various trialists who have come in hoping to show enough to be a part of the under 21s group next season.
“We all know that with pre-season fixtures, especially the first two or three, it is a matter of getting fit and being focused in the games so you are improving all the time for the start of the season.
“So the game itself suited us and although it was very hard, the players will have benefitted from the experience enormously.”