SUMMER never seems long enough nowadays. No sooner have you parked yourself on a beach somewhere, than its time to come back and report for pre-season training.

Thankfully, we still have a month left and it gives us all the chance to treat our families to a welcome bit of sunshine.

But that's not to say we let ourselves go completely. Sure, there's time for a bit of a blow out, but you have to remember the hard work that's around the corner.

At Burnley, we are all weighed before we go off on hols and then again when we come back, hoping you haven't put on too much.

In between, it's all about taking things in moderation - although there are no hard and fast rules.

Some players like to keep in shape with a run here and there and most of the lads enjoy a game of golf, which helps keep the weight off.

Others can just clock off and just go straight back into pre-season training feeling great.

That's even happened to me in the past and it's hard to comprehend because you expect to be blowing a little in the first few days.

The logic there is pre-season is designed to get you back in shape, and therefore why not knock off because it's a long, hard season.

Personally, I've always done different things and mixed and matched. Hamstring troubles have meant I've just done a few runs here and there, while last season we had to come in through the summer.

I know some clubs do that every summer, although I'm not totally convinced it's really beneficial.

Wycombe, for example, did that last season by coming in three days a week all summer long - and look what happened to them!

That way there's always a worry you are overdoing things, and no-one wants to go into pre-season training getting injured and then not being available when it comes around to the first meaningful game.

At Burnley the balance has always been pretty good and, anyway, I'm not getting the break the rest of the lads got.

While they were playing golf in Portugal a fortnight ago, I was still training hard and hoping to get through the play-offs.

It felt a little strange watching the final here in Spain, knowing you were so close to being there yourself.

But it just goes to show what the play-offs are all about and it just wasn't Sheffield United's day.

They must have played over 60 games this season and yet the most important one was probably the worst they have played.

Wolves got a great start through Mark Kennedy's goal and they were fantastic in the opening half hour.

In a situation like that, the first goal is always important. The gaffer is constantly preaching that and, especially in the First Division, it can shape an entire game.

Speaking of which, next season's First Division is possibly the toughest on paper since we were promoted three years ago.

The teams coming up will have money to spend and if West Ham can keep the squad together, they should start as favourites for promotion.

But as Derby, Coventry and Sheffield Wednesday - the biggest disaster of all - have shown in the past, you can't take anything for granted.

With the calibre of teams still in the league, it's a tough one to call and should make for terrific entertainment.