Today was the first day back in training for Palace’s first team and development squad, and after over a month off, there were a number of happy faces around the training ground for what is officially the start of preparations for the new season.
Jason Puncheon, who on 91 league appearances for the Eagles will surely break the 100 mark in the coming year, was one of those in high spirits, and says he is looking forward to getting back into training, and is excited by some of the new faces coming in to the club.
“The break went quick but it’s good to be back. You switch off for a bit but then when it gets closer to coming back you switch back on and you see that there’s people coming in to push us forward and that’s a good thing. I think every football club improves and grows each year, and the players that are coming in, they’ll jump on board and try and help us push on again.”
A senior figure within the dressing room, Puncheon knows how important the pre-season period is to building a solid togetherness within the group, and with the squad flying out to the US on Sunday, the midfielder says it’ll be a good opportunity to bring the team back together.
“This is my third pre-season with Palace and going to America will be a good thing, you’re all together for a long time and that bonds you as a team. We’re probably going to miss the Wales boys (and good luck to them Wednesday), but other than that it’ll be the same group as well as some young players and the new bodies that we have in."
"We did the same last season in South Africa, we used the time to build that togetherness which is an important thing to do.”