After a disappointing debut season in terms of injuries last year, Dundalk midfielder Jordan Flores is determined to deliver some SmackDown on the League of Ireland when it gets underway next month having undertaken wrestling training in the off-season.
The former Wigan Athletic man arrived to great fanfare at Oriel Park 12 months ago but despite winning all there was to win domestically bar the FAI Cup he failed to make the sort of impact expected.
A series of injury problems meant he played just 21 times for the Lilywhites in total – just 11 from the start.
The 24-year-old did finish the campaign off impressively as he returned for the final few matches having picked up a lengthy injury in Spain during the mid-season break.
He has been working hard over the winter months to build on that promise and even revealed he took part in wrestling training as a means to ensure he hits the ground running come the opening game of the season at home to Derry City on February 14th.
“It’s a bit different,” he laughed.
“My mate back home is a British champion and it’s good for your core strength and just your overall fitness in terms of getting your breathing right and that sort of thing. As I say, it’s just something a bit different and hopefully it stands to me now in the weeks and months ahead.
“The end of the season came at the wrong time for me really. I had a little break but then I started back kind of before everyone else because obviously I had been injured. I’m feeling good now.”
Flores showed some of what he is capable of by picking out some superb passes in Dundalk’s 2-1 defeat to CFR Cluj last week and also going close to scoring.
He told The Argus after that game that he feels there is much more to come from him.
“That’s my game. I want to be on the ball as much as I can and taking set pieces. Again, it’s just pre-season so you’re still building your touch up and hopefully when the season comes my touch will be there, my passes will be there and hopefully I can have a good start.
“I’m already ahead of this time last year. When we were in Spain this time last year I was doing work with Danny Miller so I’m ahead of where I was this time last year so hopefully again I’ll hit the ground running,” he said.