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Tough pre-season awaits Everton players in early July

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Boot camp level adversity coming up

Southampton v Aston Villa - Premier League
Ronald & Erwin Koeman
Photo by Bryn Lennon/Getty Images

Most of the Everton squad are expected back at Finch Farm in early July, and the players are going to be in for a rude shock. Veterans who were around during the David Moyes years will be reminded of the training regimen that new manager Ronald Koeman is developing along with assistant Erwin Koeman and fitness coach Jan Kluitenberg.

Erwin Koeman spoke with the Liverpool Echo about the training sessions coming up -

“You have a way of working and a way of thinking of how you want to play the games.

“That is to be a better footballer, that you perform and you know what you need to win games.

“If this is enjoyable as well then it is a plus!

“But first of all it is about understanding how we like to play.

“We like to play in an attractive, attacking way. We know that sometimes it isn’t always possible but our view of the game is to get the ball and play with it.”

He also shed some more light on the personality of his brother Ronald, and his approach to the sport.

“It is unique because I am not only Ronald’s brother and his assistant but he can trust me.

“That is the most important thing for a manager.

“We think the same about football but in other things we are different.

“But that can be good!

“Ronald is very experienced in football, as a player and a manager, and has worked a few times overseas.

“That has allowed him to learn different cultures and that makes you better as a coach.

“We as a technical staff work well as a team and Ronald has chosen good people to have around him.

“He gives us space to do what we need to do on the pitch and it is important that we think on the same level.”

Everton are expected to name their goalkeeping coach this week, as well as fill out any other positions within the coaching unit.

Player fitness has been a big issue over the last couple of years at Finch Farm, and it is hoped that with the firing of Roberto Martinez and his staff this can be resolved.Here’s a story from David Moyes’ time at the Toffees, as recounted by then-captain Phil Neville to the Liverpool Echo three years ago in 2013 -

Neville recalls the scene as he explains why the Scot, who marks his 10th anniversary at Goodison next week, is a genuine master of his trade.

“It’s a run called The Horse Shoe and it’s my nemesis,” he says. “It fills me with dread and I never want to do it again.

“I’ll never forget when we first did it. We’d had a poor-ish start to the season, and a few lads were on international break. Me and Mikel (Arteta) came in and the gaffer said, ‘Right, Horse Shoe today’.

“Afterwards Mikel was feeling dizzy and laid down on the floor of the dressing room. I was bent over cursing in the corner calling him the worst manager in the league. But he came in, saw that, and said ‘We’ll be alright from now on’ and we were.

“His method is to push you to your limits in training and then the match is easy. Everyone finished the run – it’s like Army boot camp. If there was ever a time I thought, ‘I could probably shoot you today’, it was then.”

Neville describes how Moyes builds togetherness by putting his squad through boot-camp style adversity.

“It’s a run that sorts out the men from the boys,” he grimaces. “On the fifth or sixth lap he’ll throw in a player from his Preston days and he’ll say ‘He used to p**s this’. He gets inside your head.

“On the penultimate lap he always say if you make your time on this one, you don’t have to do the last one. So every single one of the group you’re running in has to make their times from last year."

“Once I was coming to the last bend and my legs went. I was out in front but Lukas Jutkiewicz and Louis Saha caught up and probably carried me the final few metres.

“He always makes you do the last one anyway.”