Wigan Athletic defender Chey Dunkley speaks exclusively to iFollow Latics on Paul Cook’s side’s return to pre-season action ahead of the 2018-19 season.
- WATCH: Chey Dunkley on Latics’ return to pre-season, Samy Morsy at the FIFA World Cup and the excitement ahead of the 2018-19 Sky Bet Championship
- Dunkley, 26, played a key role for Latics in their 2017-18 Sky Bet League One title winning campaign
- Dunkley: “Aston Villa, Blues, Stoke is only up the road… these are teams around where I grew up and big clubs. I want to go and cause and upset and get results at those places.”
Wigan Athletic defender Chey Dunkley has been back at the Wigan Athletic Training Centre in Euxton for just over a week with his new teammates and he already senses the excitement building ahead of this season’s Sky Bet Championship campaign.
Speaking on Monday with iFollow Latics, Dunkley said:
“The lads have come back in good condition; it’s normal for players to do that now in this day and age.
“We are still getting put through our paces, it’s been tough so far and I imagine it will only get harder. With the weeks we have left, though, we will get fitter and we’ll be alright.
“We had a good season last year and we have to try and emulate that if we can; it will be very tough because it’s a strong league. Team morale is important and with a few new additions – the right additions – that morale will remain strong.
“It was always going to be a hard start; you look at the teams in the division and there are no gimme teams. I think we just have to focus into our first game against Sheffield Wednesday but first we have to look at the pre-season games in which we will try and get ourselves fit and the gaffer will impose his style in a more intense way. It will be good for the new players coming in; this could be a new system for the new players that we have got.
“[I’m looking forward to] Aston Villa, Blues, Stoke is only up the road… these are teams around where I grew up and big clubs. I want to go and cause and upset and get results at those places.”
Those fans following Latics’ social media accounts will have seen more behind the scenes coverage than ever before as the players’ pre-season campaign has got under way.
From Xfit to Boxing, to just plain long distance running, Latics’ players have been put through a wide range of tests in the opening week of pre-season.
“The staff have mixed it up so it’s not boring; there are different ways to get fit and we’ve done Xfit, boxing and our fair share of running,” Dunkley added.
“We have had the balls out as well and that’s good for us, good motivation. We get fitness out of that too so a different type of training all the time which helps to stimulate the boys’ mind a little bit.”
One player not at boxing or Xfit last week was captain Samy Morsy, who is currently on an extended break after competing in this summer’s FIFA World Cup with Egypt.
Reflecting on his close friend’s summer, Dunkley said it was a special achievement for Morsy to play at the tournament in Russia.
“I was buzzing to see that Samy got on to the pitch and nobody will ever take away from him the fact that he has played in a World Cup,” Dunkley continued. “We all dream of doing it and he has managed to do it and rightfully so because he has worked hard.
“To be a part of something at the very elite level will give him motivation when he comes back here and strive on the lads too.”