United pre-season gets intense
United’s players had a weekend they will never forget as pre-season training reached an new intensity.
The first team squad travelled north to meet up with Super League leaders Wigan Warriors on Thursday and Friday. United’s players met their rugby league counterparts, watched their training session and then went through their own training in an afternoon session. On Friday United had a double training session before watching Wigan’s home game against Castleford.
They were then up early to head for the hardest part of pre-season, a two day intensive training course organised by the Marines at the Rivington in Lancashire.
Training lasted over 24 hours with mental toughness just as important as physical fitness. Our gallery of pictures perhaps does justice to how hard the U’s worked over the weekend.
Manager Chris Wilder told us:
“From our point of view it was ideal. We had two days of great training at Wigan and saw how hard the Warriors work. Our thanks to Paul Prescott for his help in particular with that but also to everybody at Wigan who made us so welcome.
“Then the players really got their hands dirty and found themselves in a pretty dark place for 24 hours as we tested them in every way. It was all about how they responded and stuck together in hard times and they did that unbelievably well. They worked together, nobody dropped out and they got each other through it.
“It was real back to basics stuff; travel up in minibuses, get your hands dirty and respond the right way. Not many teams will have done anything like this in pre-season and it was tough. They have set a great standard for themselves for the upcoming season.
"We would like to thank the Marines at Rivington who helped us learn so much about the players this weekend. We pushed them to their limits and will let them have a bit of time to recover today before we get back in to pre-season training and start looking towards the first game on Saturday.”