Sheffield United: Squad expected to return in good shape

Callum McFadzean (left) during last summer's friendly against Morecambe � BLADES SPORTS PHOTOGRAPHY
Callum McFadzean (left) during last summer's friendly against Morecambe � BLADES SPORTS PHOTOGRAPHY

Despite the vacancy which exists in the manager’s office at Bramall Lane, Sheffield United’s players remain acutely aware of their responsibilities during the close season.

Members of the League One club’s first team squad were issued with a series of ‘do’s and don’ts’ before dispersing for their summer break with guidelines about maintaining fitness levels known to feature prominently among them.

With the new campaign scheduled to begin on August 3, United report for duty at Shirecliffe later this month.

A source told The Star: “Everyone knows what is expected of them when they come back. Football is a professional business and so you are expected to conduct yourself in a professional manner at all times.

“Rest is important because the side played a lot of matches last year. But the days when you could return to training out-of-shape are long gone, well and truly over.

“They’ve all been given weight limits to adhere to and regimes designed to keep them ticking over regarding exercise and the right food to eat. Stuff like that.

As reported earlier this week, former Heart of Midlothian defender Danny Grainger has been invited to train with United after severing his ties with Tynecastle.

Grainger, aged 26, was born in Penrith but rose to prominence during spells with Dundee United, St Johnstone and the now defunct Gretna.

However, a final decision on his future will be made by Danny Wilson’s permanent replacement.

Further interviews aimed at identifying the former Northern Ireland international’s successor were taking place at a top secret location in London yesterday.

Tony McMahon (Achilles) and Shaun Miller (knee) will both be assessed by United’s medical department before being allowed to resume full training.

Grainger was controversially informed he would not be offered a new contract by Hearts in January, two months after sustaining a knee problem during a Scottish Premier League fixture against Motherwell.