SWINDON Town boss Phil Brown said he cannot emphasise the importance of pre-season enough to his players after Portsmouth were confirmed as Town’s first opponents ahead of their League Two campaign.

Brown’s men will welcome Kenny Jackett’s League One outfit to the County Ground on Saturday, July 21 (3pm).

And another three or four fixtures are being planned by the manager as he looks to get his men in peak condition physically and mentally ahead of the club’s first league game in early August.

“I think the pre-season is being pieced together quite nicely,” said Brown.

“I enjoy the challenge of games during pre-season because of the physicality involved.

“I’m one of those managers that when you get to kick-off date, I want to have as many pre-season games under my belt.

“As a player I always liked to get a couple of games in, and if I had four or five friendlies under my belt I would be near match fitness.

“And if I was near my match fitness I would expect to play 46 games that year.”

While Brown’s passion for doing pre-season right cannot be questioned, he did admit some modern-day footballers do not take to pre-season as he would like.

The former right-back insisted his men must be ‘match fit’ in early August, meaning Town players can expect to face an intense six weeks of training ahead of their League Two opener.

“I think that pre-season mentality is lost in the modern-day footballer,” said Brown.

“It’s so important a player is prepared come that first game of the season.

“Six weeks of intense training, including four or five pre-season friendlies, and if that is the case if you’re match fit and in the first game of the season it’s up to the player to keep their position.

“All of those things are so important.

“I can’t put enough emphasis on pre-season, and you’ll hear me say that between now and the start of August.

“You’ll hear me say it 100 times and the players will as well.”