Gary Gardner: Looking forward to the weeks ahead

Gary Gardner: Looking forward to the weeks ahead

Blues midfielder Gary Gardner is pleased to be back out on the grass following the close season.

After a successful two days of testing, spread between Coventry University and Wast Hills Training Ground, Wednesday had the First Team group stepping foot on the pitches in the south of Birmingham for the first time since May.

The morning session saw the squad complete a number of running drills under the watchful eye of the Club’s Physical Performance staff, before conducting ball-work exercises on the immaculately prepared outdoor surfaces.

This was the first time all the players, barring those on senior international duty in June, were in situ as one, a factor Gardner recognised as critical in Birmingham City achieving their aims.

Gary Gardner in the gym at Wast Hills training Ground.

Gary Gardner in the gym at Wast Hills training Ground.

Speaking to BCFC.com between sessions and following a workout in the gym, the 2021/22 Players’ Player of the Season expressed a clear satisfaction at being back with his teammates.

“It’s been all good. Obviously, we had the first two days of testing, just getting back in the swing of things. Today, was quite tough, but it’s good to be back.

“It’s good that everyone is back together. It is six weeks off, but it flies by. It is good to see everyone, and we are looking forward to the weeks ahead.

Gary Gardner showcases his ball control.

Gary Gardner showcases his ball control.

“You see all the successful teams, it’s about team bonding and everyone being together. So, the quicker you can get everyone in and amongst it, the better."

As someone who enjoys taking possession and carrying it forward, it comes as no surprise that Gardner enjoyed seeing the balls back on the grass for the first time this pre-season.

There was also an added layer of excitement to this element, with Blues able to sample the EFL’s 2022/23 Puma match ball.

“You don’t really have the facilities when you are off to get a ball out and stuff. It is good to get back on the ball, a little rusty, but that is why pre-season is there.

“It felt good to be fair, it felt really nice. They change them every year now. Hopefully, we do well with it.”

Puma Orbita 2022/23 EFL match ball.

Puma Orbita 2022/23 EFL match ball.

Away from Wast Hills, the Club revealed its Nike home kit for the new campaign on Wednesday morning, something the Brummie was lucky enough to try out at the photoshoot held on the roof of the Library of Birmingham.

And Gardner was full of praise for the new attire that goes on sale both online and in-person at the Blues Store this Friday, 9am.

“Last season’s and this one, I have loved to be fair – they have been my favourites.

Gary Gardner models Blues' 2022/23 home kit.

Gary Gardner models Blues' 2022/23 home kit.

“I really like the new one. The feel of it and the quality of it is perfect!”