Clydebank manager Gordon Moffat believes that his players are the fittest they have ever been as pre-season training began on Saturday.

Coaches and teammates are still unable to meet up to train due to social distancing restrictions, but sessions took place at the weekend as the Bankies boss started to look ahead to next season.

Players were put through their paces with a long distance run in the morning before a high intensity workout in the afternoon.

And the former Rossvale manager has told the Post how he was pleasantly surprised at the standard of fitness shown by his squad as he oversees his first pre-season training programme with the club.

He said: “We’ve got a closed private group on an app and we feed the runs into that.

“The guys use that when they’re out running, and that automatically posts their times and distances.

“It’s been helpful and gives them a wee sense of teamwork – they are all doing it and can see each other’s posts, and that creates some healthy competition.

“In terms of the baseline fitness I think it could well be the fittest they’ve been. A lot of them have been commenting that they haven’t felt this fit for a while.

“It’s probably a combination of having a good, sustained break, which they don’t normally get – sometimes it can be as short as three weeks – and coming back and hitting the fitness work.”

Moffat also says he’s hoping to be able to get his players back into their football routine as soon as possble – though it’s still not clear exactly when the 2020-21 campaign will kick off in earnest.

“A lot of them are saying that they are feeling fit,” he continued, “and looking at their times, they are eye-watering compared to what I’m running.

“My plan is that when we do get back training together we can get right into game-related fitness, because they’ll all be coming in with a good baseline of fitness.

“We’re trying to get them training on their usual football days, which for us is Tuesday and Thursday.

“A lot of them have been doing plenty of their own stuff anyway, and they all look like they’ve been fighting fit.”

Moffat has also named Nicky Little as the new club captain as the club heads into the new West of Scotland Football League set-up.

Little picked up four awards at the clubs virtual awards night after scoring 18 goals last season – and his boss said that the talisman’s attitude towards training played a big part in him being handed the armband.

“He’s got everything that I’m looking for in a captain,” Moffat continued.

“The boys would tell you he can be demanding, and he moans the face off them at times, but in a good way.

“What people might not see is the way he trains is very much the way he plays. He trains at an intense level and brings out the most in other guys.

“Above all else he’s well-liked and respected by the players.”

Moffat has confirmed that the club will begin to announce new signings this Saturday.

He added: “It’s exciting for the players to get that formal announcement because they have been part of the group for a good while now.”