Oliver Gildart’s pre-season blog
Wigan centre providing weekly updates as team prepare for 2018 season
- Warriors welcome back international players and head to Newcastle
Throughout the pre-season we are catching up with the 2017 Super League young player of the year, Oliver Gildart for an insight on the squad’s preparations for 2018.
Pre-Season. Week 6.
Hi everyone, hope you all had a great Christmas and New Year!
We returned to training last week and we’re starting to wrap things up now, so to speak, by getting our structure and shape right in attack and defence.
It wasn’t that hard to get back into training after the break, as usually we get a longer Christmas break and return in January, but because we’ve done a lot of training and we’ve all made many gains, we decided not to have a lot of time off as we might lose the momentum.
When you do have a bit of time off it’s hard to get back into things and for me personally I preferred coming back earlier as I knew I would lose a bit of strength and fitness if we didn’t.
It’s been a tough five weeks of very intense training, but we had a little relaxation time over Christmas to re-charge.
Team mates George Williams, John Bateman, Sean O’Loughlin and Tommy Leuluai, all returned too after their break following the World Cup and it’s great to have them back with us. They’re massive players in the team and training really intensifies when you get your internationals back in the squad. It’s a big year for us and it’s good for them to come back in and get those combinations going again on the pitch.
Physically, the hard work is almost done now, so being on the field and having your (near enough) starting team and going through the practices is good, as we haven’t been able to do it for a few weeks.
As you are all aware, Michael McIlorum and Anthony Gelling both left the club this week. They’re two very good friends of mine - Micky looked after me when I was a young lad and Gellz has become one of my best mates over the years, so it’s sad to see them both go. It is part and parcel of sport though and everyone has to move on at some point so I wish them all the best.
We now have Dan Sarginson, who’s an outstanding player and will slot into the centre role. Likewise, with Sam Powell, he probably had his best year when Micky was injured in 2016 plus we’ve got Tommy Leuluai who can play there too. We’ve also got Josh Ganson stepping up from the Academy. Ganz is a really clever player who can attack with skill and intelligence.
It happens every year with young lads coming through who get their chance, but it is down to them to persuade Waney to keep them in the side and take the opportunity when it comes to them.
On Wednesday and Thursday, we headed up to Newcastle for a two-day training camp in Newcastle, where we used the facilities at Kingston Park and did some quality training. We also coached the Newcastle Thunder academy team which was great to give back to them and pass on our advice and training techniques.
Four weeks to go until it all gets underway…
See you soon,