A PRE-season crafted with military precision has been lauded as the secret behind the flying start made by promoted Worcester Raiders.

Manager Karl Gormley puts starting life in the West Midlands (Regional) League Premier Division with a pair of wins down to assistant Chris Cornes and his exacting standards in the build up to the campaign.

The ex-Wolves and Port Vale professional has been running something of a boot camp for his charges in readiness for the club’s first shot at step six football.

And with victories at Dudley Town and AFC Bridgnorth under their belts, Raiders have stolen a march on many of their rivals to join Bewdley Town and Shifnal Town on maximum points.

“Chris worked the lads really hard in pre-season,” said Gormley.

“We knew they would be fit and ready but they have surprised us with how they have taken everything in the stride and carried on from last season.

“We started back a lot earlier this time and did some of the army-style circuit training that Chris learned from Wolves and Port Vale.

“The lads have been tyre flipping, whacking things with sledgehammers, weight training and all sorts.

“I have to admit he has really put them through it but it seems to have done the trick. We all thought we were pretty fit and ready last season but this time they have taken it to another level – they only had three or four weeks off.

“Not many of the lads were thanking him at first but they can all see and feel the benefit now.”

Gormley is not getting carried away but feels heartened by Saturday’s 2-1 success in Shropshire thanks to goals from Matt Andrews and Roland Krol.

“We are over the moon with the start,” Gormley added.

“Saturday was made tougher by the weather, it was blowing a gale which turned it into a battle but we got through it with three points so we could not have asked for any more.

“Every player we have asked to do a job this season has done it.

“There have been a few asked to play out of position and we have tried different formations to the 3-5-2 we have played for the past couple of years.

“We had a good training session on Wednesday, it was very bright and everyone is looking forward to Saturday again now.

“It has been great but we know there are still some tough teams to face.

“You don’t know where you really are until you have played seven or eight games and faced a few different sides.”

Raiders travel to Ludlow-based Shawbury United tomorrow (Saturday, 3pm) boosted by the returns of Sam Carey and Paul Smith, although Glen Sitch faces a fitness test and Kirk Layton is still away on honeymoon.