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Interviews

INTERVIEW: Crikey - what a squad this is!

8 July 2016

Striker Jabo Ibehre on the Kendal friendly

We spoke to striker Jabo Ibehre about his goal and about a tough few weeks of pre-season training shortly after the full time whistle had blown on the Kendal away friendly on Wednesday evening.

“To be fair, pre-season has been fun so far,” he said. “We had the trip to Cassius Camps last Friday and there’s been a real bond in the squad since then. It’s a good dressing room and when we got to the game on Wednesday night you could see everyone was really up for it.

“It was a pre-season game but everyone was on their metal. There were really good signs in there that we all mean business. The game in general was a nice workout for us all even though we know we’re not where we want to be yet. The good thing is we’re going in the right direction.”

“These games are all about dusting the cobwebs off and I can feel certain elements of my own game getting better and sharper already,” he confirmed. “I’m feeling refreshed and I’m enjoying my football and I’m looking to have a strong season, both personally and with the team.

“It’s nice to get on the score sheet as well. Getting a goal is always a good thing for a striker and it was nice to be able to finish that one off in the way I did. We’ve had two very competitive games this week and that’s exactly what we need. 

“Not only are we getting fitter but we’re starting to work on our pattern of play. These games are important because it’s where we can show the manager and his staff that we’re on it and we’re ready.”

The Wednesday night outing at Kendal gave the big striker the chance to play alongside new arrivals Nicky Adams, Reggie Lambe and Shaun Miller for the first time.

“It was fantastic to be out there with them,” he said. “I do know a few of them from playing with or against them and it does seem that we’re picking up the best players from the other teams around us, which is unbelievable. 

“They’ve brought impetus and momentum with them and they have a real desire to do well. I was in the stand for the second half and you find yourself looking at it and thinking – crikey, what a squad this is! There are options and variety and I can see us being really effective in whatever formation or style the manager wants us to play.”

Looking back at the Cassius Camps trip, he said: “Having done it last year I knew what was coming, which meant I had to prepare myself mentally. I kept waking up the night before and thinking about it because there are no two ways about, it is very tough. 

“I didn’t know how to explain it to the lads who hadn’t done it before on the Friday. I warned them that it was hard but you could see in their eyes they were thinking – it can’t be that hard! They found out very quickly that it is actually the hardest thing you will ever do, but you feel like a million dollars once you’ve got through it.

“The big thing, as I said earlier, is the team bonding process you go through. Everyone struggled at different times and that’s when the other players gathered round and helped you through.
 
“If it wasn’t for your team mates on the individual assault course test you just wouldn’t complete it, it’s as simple as that. Some people don’t like to shout but it brings everyone’s personality and character out and you learn a lot about yourself. It’s a really hard package - but it definitely works.”

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