Elliott Bennett is starting his 13th pre-season as a professional – but admits Rovers fitness chief Chris Rush’s are among the toughest he’s faced.

The Rovers players reported back for pre-season testing on Monday and fly out to Austria tomorrow for a week-long training camp.

There, the players will be under the watchful eye of head of athletic performance Rush who is the man charged with getting the players up to speed ahead of the new season.

The Rovers players are given their individual fitness programmes to stick to throughout the close season, and Bennett says there is a personal responsibility to stay in shape in the seven weeks off.

Key to the Austria trip will also be re-connecting with team-mates who they may not have seen since the post season de-briefs after the final day game with Swansea City.

But never far from the conversation is the upcoming fitness drills that Rush will put the players through.

“Pre-season has come round quick, but it's great to see all the lads again and catch up,” Bennett explained.

"It's back to work now after having a good time with the family and friends.

"It never stops. In the off-season you have to look after yourself with the fitness, otherwise you'll be struggling with Chris Rush's pre-season.

“The whispers have already started regarding the gruelling schedule in the coming days, but once you get going, everyone cracks on with it.

"Everyone is excited to see the lads as sometimes you don't see team-mates at all in the summer.”

Rovers returned to pre-season without their four international players who will be handed an extended break.

For 30-year-old Bennett, he says the hard work in the next couple of weeks will stand Rovers in good stead for the next 10 months.

“It's now my 13th pre-season. It's a case of run, go home, sleep, run, go home, sleep,” he told the club website.

“That's how it works but in the off-season you can keep yourself ticking over

“In pre-season you just need to get through the sessions, whether that be a single or double session.

“It's all good stuff though and a good pre-season sets you up brilliantly for the next 10 months or so. It has to be done.”