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Skipper back to full fitness

1 July 2015

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Rovers captain Grant Hanley was delighted to be 'back with the lads' for the opening day of pre-season.

The Scotland international missed the final 15 games of last season with a calf injury, but took a full part in the first day fitness tests back at Brockhall.

The 23-year-old admits he missed the camaraderie with his team-mates during his spell on the sidelines and is now looking forward to getting a full pre-season under his belt in preparation for another gruelling Championship campaign.

"It was one of those injuries where I needed to give it a bit more time than expected," said the skipper.

"I thought I was good to go again and then I had a wee setback, but that's what happens with injuries and maybe it's a lesson learned, you've got to make sure you're 100% right before you try and force it.

"You're at the training ground every day, but when you're not travelling and you're not training, you do miss out on a bit of time being with the lads, so I'm glad that's behind me now.

"I've had a good summer and I've sorted all the wee issues out. I stayed in a week or two later than the rest of the lads when the season ended.

"I've done the hard work during the summer and got myself back to fitness, so I'm ready to go now and I'm looking forward to getting right back at it in pre-season.

"We've got a couple of weeks at Brockhall first and then we're away to Portugal. I'm sure all the lads will be looking forward to coming in, working hard, getting their fitness up and then preparing for the start of the Championship.

"It's important to get a good base fitness first and foremost, because you're playing Saturday-Tuesday a lot of weeks in the Championship and it is tough.

"But the Sports Scientists staff here at Blackburn are really good. You can't just come into pre-season and run and run and run. It's structured stuff, it's specific for your positions and for what each individual needs. So for the amount of games that you play in the Championship, it's really important to get a good pre-season under your belt.

"To be fair, we're a young group of lads now and the lads will always look after themselves in the summer and they come in with a good base level of fitness, so there's never anybody that's dying."

Rovers kick-off the 2015-16 campaign at home to a Wolves side who did the double over the Ewood outfit last season, but Hanley hopes Gary Bowyer's side can start the new season on a positive note.

"It will be good to start at home," said the central defender. "Obviously it will be a tough game, because we had a couple of tough matches against them last year and they weren't too far off the play-offs.

"So it's a good way to get started and hopefully we can go and put a good performance in, get three points there and then it's a good marker for us to kick on and have a good season."

As the first team returned to training this week, Rovers supporters are reminded that the claim your seat deadline is this Saturday July 4th.

Sales have been hotting up in the run up to this weekend's deadline, with fans needing to renew their season ticket before close of business this Saturday to retain their same seat for the forthcoming campaign.

In keeping with the club's commitment to making football at Ewood Park as affordable as possible for supporters, Rovers have frozen prices for the 2015-16 season, with prices starting from just £249 for Adults and £159 for fans aged 18-21 and seniors aged 65 and over.

Rovers continue to offer exceptional value for the younger blue-and-white fans, with prices for Under-18s priced from just £60, whilst Under-8s can enter for free in the Ronnie Clayton Blackburn End Family Stand when with a paying adult or senior.

Fans can renew online today at or in person at the Roverstore, Ewood Park and the Oneroverstore on Church Street, Blackburn. After the claim your seat deadline has passed there'll be a period of time whilst transfer requests are dealt with before new sales can be processed.

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