SWINDON Town have linked up with Brunel ABC this pre-season to strengthen players’ mental and physical attributes before the start of the 2019-20 League Two campaign.

Led by coach Brian Roberts, the entire Town squad was present for the club’s first session in the town centre gym on Friday afternoon – bag work was complemented by drills in the ring and skipping.

Manager Richie Wellens and his assistant Noel Hunt were on hand to track the team’s progress.

And it’s thanks to 36-year-old Hunt that an agreement was reached after he got talking to season ticket holder and club sponsor Kevin Metcalf at the 2019 end of season dinner.

Having boxed as a youngster, Hunt was keen to get the Town squad involved in Metcalf’s work – and a plan was quickly put into place.

Hunt said: “Myself and Kevin (Metcalf) got chatting and he mentioned the gym. We stayed in contact over the summer, and we’ve put a plan together.

“I love seeing Brian (Roberts) in the ring – he bounces around and it inspires the players.”

Town start their pre-season campaign on Tuesday night when facing non-league outfit Brimscombe and Thrupp.

Hunt insists boxing sessions will ready Town’s players for physical battles that await them in League Two – adding that drills stimulate self-confidence and self-belief.

He added: “At this stage of the season, it’s about getting the work in and keeping smiles on players’ faces.

“Boxing is great for contact, and it’s great for the mind as well. Once someone has been in this gym four or five times, they will start to feel better in themselves.

“It generates self-belief and self-confidence – and all of those things apply on the football pitch. You have to be strong in the upper body and in your core.

“We’re in a physical league, so we’re making sure the players are physically ready.

“There are an awful lot of similarities in the two sports – discipline, looking after yourself and being physically ready.”