There won’t be many fitter than Canaries

Norwich City players have passed the summer “Big Brother” test with flying colours. Sports scientist Dave Carolan says the players have all returned to training in good shape, having spent the close-season under strict instruction not to over-indulge.

Norwich City players have passed the summer “Big Brother” test with flying colours.

Sports scientist Dave Carolan says the players have all returned to training in good shape, having spent the close-season under strict instruction not to over-indulge.

All of them were given heart monitors to follow their aerobic activity - ruling out a lazy summer spent lazing by the pool - and with strict personalised fitness programmes to stick to. The results, says Carolan, have been impressive.

“The monitors are there to help them,” said Carolan, who spent a few days earlier this week assessing the fitness of all senior professionals before they were let loose on the training fields at Colney.

“The training schedules are developed with them, and it's not a case that they go away and simply run at a pace that suits them.

“Some of them were training five days a week for their whole summer.

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“It's not a case that the footballers go away and put their feet up. Some were away on holiday getting up at 7am to do a run to make sure they put the work in.”

Players have been visiting Colney on a regular basis over the past two months or so - from those on the fringes of the travelling parties to the most senior of professionals.

“The players have all reported back in fine fettle,” said Carolan. “I know it's a cliché, but I would hang my hat on the fact there won't be too many teams that have the level of athletes we have at the club.”

However, summer is officially over now, with just a week to go before the opening pre-season fixture, at Exeter a week today.

The players reported back this week but before getting their hands on a football, they had to undergo the dreaded lactate tests - running at gradually increasing levels of intensity, with Carolan monitoring the levels of lactic acid in their blood as they go along.

The test establishes a player's fitness threshold - to ensure they neither under-train or over-train.