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INTERVIEW: A good bit of competition

18 July 2015

Midfielder Gary Dicker on dusting off the cobwebs through pre-season

Midfielder Gary Dicker spoke to us about getting ready for the season ahead as the players take advantage of a break in the pre-season schedule to recharge the batteries.

“It’s going well so far but it’s been a tough few weeks,” he said. “The first few days are always hard and everyone is a bit nervous as we wait to see what running we’re going to be doing. I think everyone has come back in good shape, but I don’t think you ever get used to it.

“You always try to prepare but everyone looks after themselves a lot more these days anyway. There isn’t anyone who would come back out of shape, but I don’t think you can ever prepare your body for what hits you through those first few days.” 

“When I first started in the game I think it was just in that phase when people were really looking after themselves, so I’ve never known it to be any different,” he told us. “It’s up to yourself because you know what you can and can’t do. It isn’t just about running around, it’s about what you eat, particularly through the summer. 

“Nutrition is a massive thing now so I think everyone enjoys a week or so at the start of the break, where they completely relax, but they’re very soon back on it.”

On the new arrivals, he said: “I think it only takes a day or so to get used to the new people. As soon as we start training we all start having a go and the chatter starts. Everyone is getting on great and there’s a good bit of competition in there as well.

“I like to keep things upbeat with a few comments here and there because it’s not about being serious all the time. There are a few new arrivals and I think at this stage of the season you find you’ve got to lift each other, at times, just to get through it. 

“We have had some long days so you need a good atmosphere around the place. Hopefully I can help to bring that and help with the professional side as well.”

“That’s how it’s been at every club I’ve been with,” he added. “You know you have to push yourself to the best of your ability and everyone has come back with a great attitude. 

“The friendlies we’ve had have been really enjoyable. It’s always good to get back playing and we’ve had tough sessions before the games as well. That’s something I’ve done at other clubs, where you train hard in the morning and then play at night, and it helps to get you in the right frame of mind. 

“These games let you get the cobwebs off and it’s enjoyable for the fans as well because they get to see the new boys. You do feel the rust coming off and as you get on the ball more you get used to having it, and you start to get the legs going again. 

“When you first go out the brain is telling the legs to do things and they just aren’t getting there. It all soon comes back and you do get sharper.”

“This mini-break is good because it gives the new lads a chance to move up and get settled into their places,” he told us. “For myself, I’ve got a little daughter so I’ll be able to do something with her. We’ll spend a few days together, possibly at Alton Towers or something like that. It’s nice to get away for a few days because I don’t think we’ve had a day off for a while now. It’ll be good to be able to recharge.”

And on his talks with the manager at the end of last season, which gave him the option to look for another club, he said: “I leave it to other people to sort stuff like that out. I’m no different to anyone else because everyone is in the same position once they’re here. There’s a select few who’ve been told they can go somewhere else and that’s just part of football. 

“It’s the same as not being in the team. You can be out of it one week and the saviour the next, and it can change as quickly as that. You don’t let it affect you. 

“I’m not the type of player who will sit back and relax and not try to affect things. I’ll be doing my best to play for Carlisle United. I’m still here but who knows - you just don’t know what’s going to happen. Look at Kyle [Dempsey], he was here with a contract and now he’s gone. It can all change pretty quickly. I can guarantee that while I am here I’ll be trying to get into the team.

“Sweens was in the same position when I got injured last season and so was Sean O’Hanlon. They got back in straight away. As I say, football can change in a heartbeat, I’ve seen that myself, and there’s no point in getting too down or upset. You have to think positive and concentrate on the stuff you can do, and on the things you can have a direct impact on.”

Looking ahead to the friendly fixtures against Bradford, Preston and Oldham he said: “The three games coming up will be looked at as if they’re league games I would think. 

“You start playing your shape and getting your team together and it’s your chance to impress the manager if you do get some minutes. I think everyone will be looking to do that in those games. 

“It’ll be a good test for us, before the season starts, because they’re big clubs who have all done well in recent seasons.”

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