Brighton & Hove Albion defender Lewis Dunk stressed the importance of taking time to rest in-between intense Premier League seasons, but is now focused on working hard after returning for pre-season training.
Aside from taking time out to recover from Albion’s 2018/19 campaign, Dunk became engaged to his partner over the summer months, and the 27-year-old admitted the pressure of popping the question outweighs Premier League football.
He said, “It was probably one of the most nerve-wracking things I’ve done. My legs were trembling when I was just about to ask her, but I don’t know why, she was always going to say yes, wasn’t she?
“I really enjoyed the summer and took it as a chance to relax. You have to make the most of it after a long, hard season in the Premier League.
“Especially at this level, it really takes its toll on your body. You have to switch off for the first few weeks and enjoy it, but then do some work to ensure you’re fit enough to come back.
“The first few days back have been good, meeting the manager and his staff, and learning a few bits about the pre-season that’s coming up. The hard graft starts now.”
The Seagulls will travel to Austria this weekend for a pre-season training camp, and Dunk believes the trip will offer a good opportunity for the players and coaching staff to bond ahead of the upcoming season.
“The new coaches are going to be different to what we’ve been used to, but we’ll soon find out during pre-season exactly how Graham wants us to play.
“Especially with a few new signings, the training camp in Austria is a good chance to get away and forget about everything back here in England.
“We’ll probably have a few team-bonding exercises out there, so it should be a good trip for everyone. We must prepare ourselves in the best possible way for the upcoming season.”