Luke Ayling reflects on tying the knot and Leeds United 'bond' as defender makes prediction from pre-season training return

Newly-married Luke Ayling is now back bonding with his Leeds United team mates and says his Whites will reap the rewards from a new dimension of pre-season training.

Friday, 9th July 2021, 11:54 am
Updated Friday, 9th July 2021, 11:56 am

Twenty-four members of Marcelo Bielsa’s squad returned from their summer breaks last Thursday ahead of the build up to the 2021-22 Premier League campaign.

But the return to pre-season training came with a new twist as Bielsa's squad and a team of Thorp Arch medical staff checked in at Leeds Beckett University’s £45m Carnegie School of Sport for pre-season testing.

There are now five weeks until the Whites will begin their second season back in the Premier League with the trip to arch rivals Manchester United on Saturday, August 14.

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BACK TO IT: Leeds United and Luke Ayling, above. Photo by Jon Super - Pool/Getty Images.
BACK TO IT: Leeds United and Luke Ayling, above. Photo by Jon Super - Pool/Getty Images.

Leeds will be looking to build on last season's superb ninth-placed finish, and Ayling says his side will definitely be helped by the results and data from testing at Leeds Beckett.

"So far it has been good,” Ayling told LUTV.

“It’s the first time we’ve been up to the university. They’ve got a great set up here so we have been doing all of our testing.

“It’s never nice to see a running track on the first few days of pre-season but it has been all good so far!

“It’s the first time I have done something like this, being up here for two days doing the different kind of tests.

“The first pre-season I had was at Yeovil, and that was pegging it around a field as many times as you can!

"So yeah, it has come on over the last few years and all the data they get here will help us throughout the season.

“I just go in there, do it and let the clever people tell me what I need to do!”

Reflecting on being reunited with his team mates - and now as a married man - Ayling said: "It’s been great to see all the boys again, it was a bit of a longer break.

“It felt like we have spent two years together non stop. So, it was nice to get away and spend some time with the family and to finally get married!

“But it was nice to come back and see the boys, we still have a few missing due to the Euros and a few coming back late, but it’s been great to be back.

“We’re all still very close, we spoke in the group chat during the off season, we have a good strong bond and we finished last season well so it boosted the boys coming back for pre-season.”

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Thank you Laura Collins