ANDY Frampton will have a simple message for Millwall’s academy players next season.
The former Lions defender joined the club as a development coach last week after calling time on a 16-year playing career last season.
And it was an insight that struck him not long into his own senior first-team debut for Crystal Palace at Carrow Road against Norwich City in 1999 that he will attempt to drive home to those who hope to eventually graduate to the first team.
“Hard work, and extra work – above all,” Frampton said. “You’ve got to get up to the physical level that’s required to survive in professional football.”
“It was an eye-opener in terms of the levels of fitness required. You really found out quickly the level you needed to be at.”
“We won 1-0 so it was a dream start.
“Obviously it’s a dream when you’re a young player in the academy to make it to the first team, but if you’re not nervous before your first game there’s something wrong.
The 35-year-old is also keen to start working with boss Neil Harris and his assistant Dave Livermore and easily identifies the quality that stood out when he played alongside Millwall’s record goalscorer.
He believes it’s an attribute that will be obvious to supporters when they watch the first team next season.
“As well as being a brilliant striker – his stats speak for themselves – when he played he absolutely demanded that everyone gave 100 percent all the time, and that never wavered.
“I think towards the end of last season the fans could see that by what the players gave on the field, despite relegation.
“He’ll demand the same next season and the players will be aware of that.”