Back to work for day 1 of pre-season training

It was back to work today for Perth Glory players as they hit the training track for day one of pre-season.

It was back to work today for Perth Glory players as they hit the training track for day one of pre-season.

New recruits Shane Smeltz, Danny Vukovic, Travis Dodd, Neil Young, Evan Berger and Adam Hughes were all on board as the players completed a series of fitness tests.

Dean Heffernan and Jesse Makarounas were the only two new players absent. Heffernan is currently in China on loan until the end of July while Makarounas is away with the Qantas Joeys, preparing for the FIFA U-17 World Cup in Mexico in June.

Scott Neville dominated the maximum aerobic test, the young star in great shape after spending two weeks in England with Portsmouth and last week in Melbourne with the Qantas Young Socceroos.

“He went over there just to experience the training and I think it was good for him,” Perth Glory coach Ian Ferguson said.

“He-s come back and said he enjoyed it, but he couldn-t believe the intensity and how hard they worked. It-s shown him the level he has to aspire to (if he wants) to try and play over there.

“I-m so excited at having him get back out for us on that right-hand side with (Dean) Heffernan and (Evan) Berger on the other side.”

With eight new faces in the squad, there was a fresh and exciting feel around the club's training head quarters at AK Reserve.

"If you look at the players that have been recruited there's certainly some quality players in there,” Travis Dodd said.

"Smeltz, Vukovic and others, if you add those players to the ones that are already in the squad it's a good, rounded squad.

"It's certainly a team that I believe can challenge for the finals and beyond.

"I haven't played with these guys before and it's great to be part of a team that I think will do really well.

Ferguson said the players work load will progressively get tougher due to the later start of the new season, expected to be the first week of October.

“We-ve got to make sure we build the boys up and don-t run them too hard at the beginning,” the coach added.

“I want them hitting the ground running probably in about August and September - the crucial months - when hopefully we-ll have some decent games to take into this new season.”

Ferguson also revealed Liverpool legend Robbie Fowler will combine his playing duties with a specialist coaching role. Fowler, the fourth highest goal scorer in English Premier League history will spend time with the club's young strikers as well as Shane Smeltz and Branko Jelic.

Fowler is currently in England completing his coaching badges.