SWINDON Town assistant manager Noel Hunt says the impending pre-season period will be vital for manager Richie Wellens as he and his staff look to lay the foundations for success at the club.

The Town players will report back for the start of their summer training programme on Monday, June 24 ahead of the 2019-20 League Two campaign.

It will be the first pre-season schedule implemented by Wellens at Swindon following his appointment as manager last November.

Hunt – who was brought in at SN1 as Wellens’ number two – admits it was not easy for the new staffing structure to hit the ground running at the club when they first arrived late last year.

However, having a full six-week block with the players to develop their strategies without the distraction of competitive results can really allow Wellens and his staff to stamp their image on the squad.

Speaking to the Advertiser, Hunt said: “It was quite difficult when we first came in.

“We were trying to juggle so many things at once and get so many things in place, but you can’t do it all – it’s impossible.

“To have a six-week block to implement things will be massive. Right from the get-go, our standards can be set very high.

“They are high regardless, but when you come into a fresh season with fresh people, you set your stall out from the very first day and lay it all out on the table for the players to understand.

“They are a good group of boys. They take it in and try to implement as much as they can, but there are a couple of things we want to try to improve on in terms of standards and quality on and off the field.

“For us, those six weeks are massive in terms of getting things in place so we are ready to go in the first week of the new season.”

The Town squad are due to undertake two days of testing this week before fully beginning their summer training programme later this month.

Hunt says the Swindon management staff have largely kept their distance from the players – and will do so again once testing is complete – in order to truly allow them to switch off from football.

However, there has been no such respite for Wellens and his coaching team, who will continue to work tirelessly right through the summer.

“I have spoken to a couple of the boys and a couple have text me over the last week or so, but you tend to leave them alone for a bit,” said Hunt.

“It’s their time off and I think it’s important they get that break away from football for two or three weeks.

“You want to completely leave it to one side, but it is hard to do that because the play-offs are on and there are still things happening which make it hard to switch off.

“I know the manager has been into the club since the end of our season and was at every game that was on, and now I am going to France next week to watch an international tournament.

“Our work doesn’t stop. We might get 10 or 12 days off, but we can’t afford to be going away for three, four or five weeks.

“With the new season coming up, it is exciting for us and we need to make sure everything is right.

“We will continue to work through the off-season while the boys take their rest. As long as they come back in a good condition, we don’t mind.”