It may be the close season – but for Peterhead’s Alan Cook there is plenty of work to do as he bids to return for next season fully fit.
The winger is staying with the Blue Toon for next term and is putting in the work before pre-season begins to battle back from a knee injury.
Cook sustained the knee problem just before the lower leagues restarted in March.
The 29-year-old managed to return to feature as a sub in the Buchan outfit’s final two games of the season.
But Cook says he still has work to do to get into a position to be able to fully contribute next term.
He said: “I worked hard to get back once I got injured. It wasn’t an easy ride to get back.
“I have perhaps pushed a bit too quickly to get back, but that’s just in my character, I always want to push to get back as quickly as I can and it was good to get there.
“Stuart Hogg (fitness coach) gave me a lot help with the running programme he gave me and that was a great guide to keep me right.
“Personally the close season is a period where I need to work hard because I need to try to get back up to a level of fitness for pre-season because the injury combined with the stop-start nature of the season hasn’t been ideal for me.
“Hoggy has given me a couple of programmes to do and I’ll be following them and discussing with him each week to give an update on my progress.
“For me there’s a lot of work to do over the next few weeks before pre-season starts.
“I just need to make sure my knee is in a good position, while I came back for those couple of sub appearances, I wasn’t 100%.
“I’ve got strengthening work to do to get the knee back to where it needs to be.”
Help from Hogg
Cook appreciates the assistance he’s had from Peterhead’s fitness coach Stuart Hogg, who has previously worked for Aberdeen and Dundee United as well as enjoying a glittering career in athletics coaching working with the likes of Yvonne Murray, Aileen McGillivray and Eilidh Doyle.
Cook added: “He’s got a wealth of experience and his CV speaks for itself and it would be silly not to tap into his knowledge.
“Hoggy just takes control, he gives you a programme and you follow it.
“That suits me better than just being left to do your own thing, he tells me what needs done and I go away and do it.”
More to come after stop-start season
Cook believes his best is yet to come at Peterhead.
Having joined the Blue Toon in January 2020 he has endured two lengthy football shutdowns because of the pandemic on top of his injury.
He said: “I’ve probably not done as well as I would have liked, but it’s been challenging.
“It’s been stop-start because of Covid and I picked up the knock just before we restarted.
“Equally playing in a number of positions to help the team perhaps doesn’t help me either.
“But at the end of the day I’ll always do what I’m asked to do to help the team, wherever that may be.
“Hopefully I’ll get a wee bit more of a steady run in one area next season and we’ll see how it plays out.
“But I certainly feel there’s a lot more for me to bring and it’s up to me to go out and deliver.”