Jack Harrison’s strike to secure all three points on the last day at Brentford five weeks ago turned out to be Leeds United’s final kick of the season.
The 25-year-old’s deflected, left-footed effort from the edge of the penalty area found the back of the net sending the travelling Leeds support – and substitutes’ bench – into rapturous celebration as Premier League survival was confirmed.
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Some 36 days later, the bulk of Jesse Marsch’s squad were back in pre-season training, being put through their paces at Leeds Beckett University’s state-of-the-art sports facilities.
Cardiovascular screening, weight checks and general fitness tests were carried out on the likes of Harrison, Patrick Bamford, Joe Gelhardt and new man Marc Roca among others.
Speaking to the club’s official media, Harrison said of the summer break: “Sometimes it goes quick. It goes quickly when you're having fun. But I think, the time was probably about right. I think everyone's happy to be back and get working again.”
“Just to take the time off and have a little bit of a break but also mentally prepare yourself to come back again this season.”
The attendance of Patrick Bamford and several other players who had missed the trip to Brentford through injury or illness was a welcome sight as Leeds boast close to a clean bill of health on day one of pre-season.
This year is of course the first occasion in four seasons in which preparations for the new campaign have not been led by Marcelo Bielsa.
New head coach Jesse Marsch has been seen on the pitches at Thorp Arch, donning the club’s new trainingwear, leading the players who have so far made a return.
Around a third of the squad is still to undergo their preliminary screening and testing which is due to take place next Monday.
As for those present and correct this week, Harrison has revealed the tweaks and changes to this year’s pre-season schedule.
“The first day is the usual, the testing and seeing where everybody's at again. But yeah, today it was more of just getting back into the rhythm of things and working on the technical side of things. And then we just had a little bit of fun in the end just to add some good feelings throughout the team.”
“We've had our fair share that [running] in the past as well,” Harrison added, when posed with the question of why technical work had been undertaken so early in the pre-season calendar.
“No, I think it's always nice to get the ball out again and just get kicking the ball. I'm always kicking the ball even in the summer and stuff - I love playing.”
While Marcelo Bielsa’s regime would have exclusively tasked his Leeds squad with strenuous cardiovascular exercises, it seems Marsch and his staff have taken a different approach during the first week back at Thorp Arch.
Leeds’ first pre-season friendly takes place next week at York City’s LNER Community Stadium where the Whites face Championship side Blackpool.