Newcastle United whizkid Rolando Aarons has revealed how he shunned a holiday to spend his summer building up his fitness with an Olympic sprinter.
The winger burst on to the scene last season with a series of memorable cameos for the first team, including goals against Manchester City and Crystal Palace,
But his campaign was hit by a number of injuries, including thigh and hamstring, and he spent almost six months out of action.
Having returned to the bench for the last couple of games of the season, Aarons is now determined to get himself fully fit and impress new Toon boss Steve McClaren when Newcastle return for pre-season this week.
He’s been doing extra training sessions in his home town of Bristol during the summer alongside Olympic gold medallist Darren Campbell.
Aarons said: “I’m not one for lads’ holidays – they’re not really me.
“I need the extra work to get ahead of everyone, especially being young.
“I’m not an established player so I have to keep working harder than everyone else.
“It was frustrating not being able to play last season. Watching football when you want to play is the worst thing.
“The plan is to be ready for this season. It’s different with a new manager but it should be good.”
The 19-year-old has been working with Back 2 Action, a fitness camp run by coach Rayan Wilson.
And the youngster – who has a year left on his contract – believes the extra work will put him in a good position once the season starts.
He added: “It’s a bit of everything – conditioning, running technique, speed work and getting sharp. There’s a bit of football as well. If it was just running, I’m not sure I’d turn up!
“This season, if I get a run of games I’ll show what I can do.”