Pascal Struijk: I’ve had a big smile on my face

Defender on return to training.


Pascal Struijk has rejoined his Leeds United teammates, beginning a hard-working pre-season schedule.

The defender enjoyed his summer break but is pleased to be back amongst the team as they aim to have another productive season in the Premier League.

Pascal said: “It’s been good seeing everyone again.

“Seeing the staff, seeing everyone, I’ve had a big smile on my face.

“It’s been a long time so it has been great. Everyone comes back with a smile, so for everyone, it’s great to be back and let’s just have a great time!”

The squad have been undergoing testing in the first few days, to gather data in order to track their fitness stats.

“The testing is good to see where your body is right now and then progress through the season further,” Struijk explained.

“It’s good knowing how much you have done throughout the summer, how your body has been, what changes have happened to your body.

“I always try and do some [over the summer]. In the first couple of weeks not much, you try and relax your body for a bit then after you need to get back to it.

“Loads of running, little bit of fitness, to make sure you come back and be super fit.

“Our pre-season is way heavier than the normal season because when we do it and getting back back to the Premier League, we are fit and ready to go, fitter than everyone else.”

The Whites finished in an impressive ninth position in their first top-flight campaign in 16 years. Struijk and the squad now want to work hard and keep improving going into the new season.

He said: “I did look back at most of the games, saw some highlights. I am really pleased with how the season went and I am happy with my progress so far.

“Like last year, I want to try to get myself into the team and improve even more, then play as many games as possible.

“There are three other great players [at centre-back] so it’s really hard to get yourself in the team when you get there it’s even harder to stay there.

“We finished really high last year, it was a really good season from us. Everyone wants to do better so hopefully we can do that.”

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