Jon Whitney has been delighted with the work ethic, self-belief and teamwork shown by his players at Cassius Camps.
The Saddlers’ first-team squad travelled up to the Lake District on Sunday for a gruelling three-day pre-season training camp designed to test their mental and physical capabilities.
Tasks have involved rolling tyres, lifting logs, carrying sandbags, running up hills and swimming in Lake Windermere.
And Whitney – who, along with his coaching staff, has taken part in the activities – has been delighted with the outcome of the trip.
“It has involved incredible fitness tests and a phenomenal effort from the players,” said the 46-year-old.
“As staff we are very proud. The attitude of our players couldn’t have been better. Not one of them was moaning despite the stuff they have had to do.
“I have never done anything like that and I am old-school. These lads inspired each other and they inspired me to take part in all the runs.
“It was incredible and that is the secret. As a group we want to enthuse one another. Together we want to draw out that extra five, 10 per cent.
“If we can do that, knowing we go on to that pitch as the fittest team it gives you great confidence and belief. We will now take that into the season.
“This is a special group, their attitude. Their willingness to run and their work ethic is second to none.
“We keep saying we are a special club and we have some special players. We create a special environment.
“We go that extra bit and you can see the players are giving back. It was emotional at times. There was some real digging done.
“If you weren’t up for the fight you would crumble. But nobody did. If they did it individually we couldn’t have done it.
“You can’t run the miles, complete the obstacle course, climb hills and swim a mile in Lake Windermere without the support of your teammates.
“I stood there with my mouth open at times because they had to keep going. There was no complacency. There was nobody taking the easy option.”