There is probably no better way to bond with a group of new players than to go out and have a few drinks with them.
And this year, Exeter has excelled itself by encouraging us to get to know each other a lot better than we might do in training.
We had been back in pre-season for just one day when we were told that the club was taking us all away to Torremolinos in Spain for three days.
It was a cracking trip with a lot of laughing, a fair bit of drinking and an optional training session on the beach at 10 o’clock every morning which, I think it’s safe to say, was sparsely populated!
That seems a long while ago now with the season upon us and the guys who were new to everyone back then, are now not far off part of the furniture.
I have had my fair share of trips abroad this summer. Me and my new wife, Sarah, got married and went on honeymoon to Dubai for a week, which I thoroughly enjoyed.
Then, after three weeks training, we had the second part of our honeymoon in Marbella.
Those days will seem a mile off in the depths of January at Sandy Park.
Aside from some fond memories, it has been the usual stretch of some serious hard work at Exeter in pre-season.
There’s always talk in the media and amongst the supporters at this time of year regarding where we might finish in the table and what would be an acceptable position.
But among the coaching and playing group, we don’t sit down at the start of the year and say: “We must finish here or there”.
We are more likely to target a group of say five or six games and say that we want so many points out of them to be where we want to be.
It’s about setting short-term targets and trying to achieve them for us and that has worked well in the past.
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