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INTERVIEW: Getting ourselves ready

13 July 2015

Defender Danny Grainger on pre-season and the Family Fun Day

Defender Danny Grainger spoke to us about pre-season so far at the Brunton Park Family Fun Day on Sunday. 

Speaking first about the Fun Day, he said: “It’s nice for us to give something back because these supporters are with us through thick and thin. It’s also nice to be able to meet everyone on the training pitch and we can all have a bit of fun together.

“I think the fans always enjoy watching the training session. We had a game yesterday [Saturday] so it’s a bit low key, but they still get to see some of what we do on a day-to-day basis.”

And on session the stocks of shame, where youngsters got to pound him with wet sponges, he said: “I was stitched up on that one. Troy [Archibald-Henville] decided my team was going to lose but, again, it’s all good fun and I don’t mind it. 

“We all talked to the fans and signed autographs, so I think this has been another very successful day. Around all of this, of course, has been the need to make sure we’re getting ourselves ready for August.

“The hard part is getting back out there and getting the rust off. It’s been fantastic though and the boys have really adapted well and started to play the way manager has asked us to play.

“It’s been a tough few weeks since we came back in but we’ve worked hard in training and in the games. We’re getting fitter as we go along but this is a fit group of lads anyway.

“There’s always a bit of stiffness but we tend to pull each other through if we see that someone is being a bit quiet. We’re sticking together and that’s the main thing.”

“Personally I always want to try and lead from the front as much as I can,” he continued. “That’s just my mentality overall, so it’s not just about whether I have the armband or not. I want to push myself because it’s all about making sure I’m in the team for the first game of the season.”

“The Penrith game was a good way to keep the preparation going at the end of what had been a hard week,” he said. “The manager is putting a lot of belief in us and he wants us to play more football this season. He’s got players through the door he wants and with a couple more additions I don’t think we’ll be too far away. 

“A lot of my friends and family were there so it was nice to get a run out in front of them. It’s always good to be able to play in front of your local team and I think it was special for Riggy [Steven Rigg] to be able to go back there as well. I think he’ll just wish he could have topped it off with a goal.

“There were no arguments over the captain’s armband at all. The manager came in and he said it was happening that way. That was never a problem for me. It’s always an honour to wear it, whether it’s a league game or a friendly, but you’ll never hear me complaining if I don’t get it.

“I did enjoy getting my goal though. I think I owe the keeper a pint for that one because he seemed to chuck it in a bit. I got one in pre-season last year as well and hopefully now I’ll kick on and make sure I get a few during the season as well.” 

“As I’ve said, what we’re doing now is all about that first game and the whole squad is going to be needed over the first few weeks of the season,” he concluded. “We’ve got hard games in the cup and in the league and we know we have a fair bit of travelling this time round.

“The next three friendlies are against league opposition and they’ll give us a real standard watch. They’re tough games so we’ll see how far away we are from where we need to be.”

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