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Dean Smith really pleased with first week back in West London

Head Coach gives an update after an intensive first week of training

1 July 2017

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"This week the players have been brilliant." The words of Head Coach Dean Smith after the first five days of 2017/18 pre-season training.

Dean took some time out on Friday afternoon to discuss the fitness of his squad, further departures from Griffin Park and heading to France next weekend.

"It's shaping up really well," said Dean. "Obviously, the first week we haven't had the internationals in as we gave them the week off to recover from the international games that they've had.

"It's nice saying that, it shows that we've got some quality here. We've got a number of internationals, six - eight with Chris Mepham and Ellery Balcombe, who have all been involved in some tournaments and games.

"We've had a really good first week, done a lot of football work - which we wanted to do, set some principles in place but also the conditioning side of it. They've come back in very good shape, which is pleasing."

The Bees' first pre-season fixture is now less than a week away, something Dean will shift his focus to in the coming days.

"I think I've said before last season, it's not the greatest joy of mine, pre-season friendlies, because I'm just trying to get through them injury free. It also gives us the chance to set the lads some targets, make some tactical adjustments, work on it during the week in training and go and put it into practice in the games. It's an opportunity to try a few things.

"I've not even thought about the Aldershot games yet, that will be late next week. It'll be two 45 minutes, there will be some B Team players involved as well because I don't expect to be pushing the international players into that game so early back into pre-season for them. It'll be a mixture but we'll set a few targets for the players to meet during the game and hopefully it all goes well before we head off to camp."

This week also saw the departure of midfielder Konstantin Kerschbaumer on a season-long loan to Arminia Bielefeld. Dean reflected on the 25-year-old's time at Griffin Park.

"Kersch didn't get as much game time as he would've liked last season. He was in and out of the team, didn't play an awful lot of games early on. The form of a few of the players, Ryan Woods in particular, was very good and it made it very difficult for him to get in.

"He got a run in the team towards the end and was pleased but he wanted a guarantee of more game time. I can understand that, at his age he wants to be playing regular games, but what we can't do is promise regular games to anyone, they have to go and merit it."

Winger Florian Jozefzoon just put pen to paper on a new contract extension that will see him through to the summer of 2019. Dean was very happy to have tied the Dutchman to a new deal.

"I think everybody saw the potential and the excitement he gave us after his first appearance against Aston Villa. I said in a statement, he hasn't disappointed by any means and he's come back.

"He's looked really pleased to have signed the contract, which is always a good thing, and he's enjoying his football, and enjoying being in a place that he feels really comfortable."

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