Doncaster Rovers players’ fitness incentive

Rovers' players are in for a tough fitness test upon their return to Cantley Park next month.

Rovers' players are in for a tough fitness test upon their return to Cantley Park next month.

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Doncaster Rovers’ players have been given an extra incentive to remain in tip-top condition over the summer.

The members of the squad that prove their fitness on the first day of pre-season will be granted an extended summer holiday, the Star understands.

That’s the carrot that Paul Dickov dangled in front of his players before they went their separate ways earlier this month.

Dickov is known to be a hard taskmaster when it comes to fitness work. And the Scot has come up with a sure-fire way of ensuring that his men don’t overdo it on the barbecues or beers this summer.

Rovers players will report back to Cantley Park during the last week of June to begin preparations for League One.

Awaiting them will be a thorough fitness test, which only the players in peak physical condition will negotiate successfully.

And the reward for the players who successfully pass the test will be an additional week to spend at their leisure, before reporting back for full training during the first week of July.

That initial week’s training - for players who don’t meet Dickov’s required level of fitness - is likely to be a somewhat harsh welcome back, with Rovers’ boss again placing a big emphasis on fitness work ahead of a gruelling League One campaign.

Dickov is also busy planning another pre-season trip to Portgual where players will be put through their paces - and triple daily sessions - in sweltering conditions.

Rovers have so far confirmed pre-season friendlies at Bradford Park Avenue (July 9), at Lincoln (July 12) and at home to Sheffield Wednesday (July 27). The League One season starts on Saturday, August 9.