RADCLIFFE boss Lee Fowler has been impressed by his side’s fitness in their initial training sessions – but says pre-season will only begin in earnest at the end of the month.

Boro were put through their paces in front of a select group of fans on Saturday, as the Neuven Stadium opened its doors again under tight restrictions.

Fowler has been busy re-shaping his squad and has been pleased with what he’s seen so far, a July 28 pre-season start pencilled in with a team bonding trip also part of preparations for the new Northern Premier League season, which is yet to have a confirmed start date.

“The quality’s been really good. They are probably too far advanced for where they should be,” the Boro boss said. 

“They’re a very fit group and I’ve got to taper the training down a little bit because you don’t want to be too sharp, too soon.

“We haven’t started pre-season properly. I have seen some teams in two or three times a week, fair play to them, it’s up to them what they want to do.

“But we’ll go back towards the end of July. We’ve got a nice little two-day meeting and then we’re going to go camping for two days at Chester which will be good team bonding for the lads.

“All the staff are invited and if the fans want to go that’s not a problem either.

“Then we’ll be ready. We’ve gone through all the roles and responsibilities, no stone will be left unturned and the real work for me starts on July 28.

“It’s refreshing that the lads are willing to come in without being paid, they’re doing it off their own back, so it only stands us in good stead.”

Fowler was pleased to see a limited number of supporters present at the weekend as the club reopened their bar following Covid-19 guidelines.

The former Wrexham midfielder is determined to build a good and open relationship with the Boro fanbase having taken over in February.

“We need to get the connection there because last season the connection had gone,” Fowler told the club website.

“I think there were a lot of disgruntled fans or fans in that grey area where they didn’t know whether to support it when Jon (Macken) left.

“This is a new start and I want them to back us. It’s important, we can’t be at loggerheads.

“It’s such a massive part of football. You’ve seen what football without fans is like in the Premier League. It’s not the same type of atmosphere.

“This type of day (the open training) is important for the club. Having a pint, sitting talking, the good, the bad and the ugly. I’m not bothered if people want to have a go at me.

“I’m always approachable and always respectful.”