Chesterfield captain Ian Evatt has underlined the benefits of the club’s pre-season training camp in Portugal.
The Spireites left north Derbyshire on Thursday afternoon for four days of fitness work and team building activities.
Evatt, 32, has seen many changes to how clubs approach pre-season over his 15 years as a professional footballer.
He said: “The game has changed over the years, you have to come back fighting fit to be ready. I usually give myself a couple of weeks rest because the body needs that to go again.
“I’ve been keeping myself fit in the gym and working hard, keeping my weight down and I’m raring to go now.
“We’re looking forward to a trip to Portugal, which the club have been very kind to put on for us just to reintegrate the group back together again.
“The club did it last year and it must have been a success. It’s great that the club can do that now. It’s a fantastic club and a great place to be.
He added: “When I was here last time we couldn’t have dreamt of a trip to Skegness, let alone Portugal.”
The club made the same trip last year in what proved to be the first steps in preparation for their League Two title winning season.
A rigorous pre-season training programme has been drawn up for when the players return for the full schedule to begin on Wednesday (June 2).
“It’s not enjoyable but they give you a base for the season, it’s important to keep yourself fit over the summer and you don’t miss a day,” added Evatt.
“I always think if you miss a day in pre-season, it’s hard to play catch up. The aim is obviously to remain fit for the duration of the season.
“Things have certainly changed a lot. In the early years we never used to see a ball for the first few weeks, we used to run and run until we were sick.
“But the game has changed and the lads keep themselves a lot fitter over the summer months.”