CHERRIES legend Marc Pugh has offered words of sage advice to footballers currently without a club, taking to Instagram to offer his help and support to those starting pre-season in unfamiliar circumstances.

Pugh, who joined Cherries in 2010 after his contract with Hereford expired, retired from football after a short stint with Shrewsbury during the 2020-21 season.

After his departure from QPR in the summer of 2020, Pugh found himself without a club for four months, before rejoining Shrewsbury in October.

Now, he is fully focused on his new passion and career as an online health coach, using social media to share his recipes and health tips to footballers and fans alike.

Dubbed the ‘Foodie Footballer’, Pugh recently returned to the Vitality Stadium to help educate Cherries’ youngsters, showing them their way around the kitchen and how to cook beneficial meals for their own health and careers.

On a post on his Instagram, @TheFoodieFootballer, Pugh shared: “Are you without a club and doing pre-season alone?

“I have been there, more than once.

“Pre-season is mentally challenging no matter what, but doing it alone can be extremely daunting and quite lonely at times.

“To have a successful pre-season on your own you must be disciplined and committed. You must treat it like a full time, paid job.

“If you want to be ready when you get the opportunity to go into a club and trial, then you need to have put in the work behind the scenes.

“Set out your week on a Sunday - plan your sessions and get them done no matter what. Make that commitment.

“Pre-season on your own is far more challenging mentally then it is physically. As an athlete you will be used to pushing your body. But motivating yourself on your own can be difficult.

“Set yourself challenges along the way and celebrate your small wins! If you’re able, get friends involved in some of your training!

The 35-year-old went on to suggest a pre-season schedule, mixing cardio sessions with gym sessions, yoga, five-a-side football and technical work.

Pugh also stressed that it was important for players not to just focus on their physical status, but also their mental health.

“It’s unsettling being without a club,” he mentioned.

“It’s very easy to get down and anxious about the future.

“I believe in talking to family and friends about how I am feeling, I surround myself with positive people and I am a huge believer in the power of positive affirmations.

“Good luck to any players out there looking for a new club - be ready when called upon.”