Liverpool manager Bill Shankly was in no mood to hang around at the start of the 1971-2 football season.
The Reds had just lost the FA Cup Final, going down 2-1 to Arsenal after extra time, and Shankly was determined not to miss out again.
He was back in training in June, weeks ahead of his players, keeping himself fit for the challenge ahead.
Shankly was boosted by a promising £35,000 signing from Scunthorpe United. The new man had watched from the sidelines at Wembley, but now he was ready to take his place in the team.
His name was Kevin Keegan – and nobody could have guessed the massive impact he’d have on his new club.
Shankly’s early training regime – and his summer signing – nearly paid off in Keegan’s first season. Liverpool finished second in the league, one point behind Brian Clough’s Derby County.
Two decisions cost them dear. Liverpool were denied a definite penalty in their away match against Derby and had a clear goal disallowed in the final match of the season against Arsenal.
It all came together in the 1972-3 season. Liverpool won the club’s eighth league title and the third under Shankly.
They also became the first English club to win both the league and a European trophy in the same season when they beat Borussia Monchengladbach 3-2 in the two-leg UEFA Cup final.
Pre-season training was no less intense at Melwood in July 1965 when a group of schoolchildren turned up to watch their football heroes go through their paces.
Liverpool walked away with their seventh league title in the 1965-6 season, finishing six points ahead of Leeds United and Burnley. Top scorer was Roger Hunt with 32 goals in all competitions.
A remarkable photo of Everton’s early season training shows players listening intently to coach Harry Cooke, dressed casually in short sleeves and tank top, in August 1950.
Pictured, from left, are Harry Leyland, Jimmy O’Neill, Joe Easthope, John Parker, Dave Hickson, John Sutherland, Tony McNamara and Jimmy Harris.
Unfortunately, Cooke’s pep talk failed to pay off as Everton finished bottom of the First Division with 22 points and were relegated.
After a year in Division Two, the 1952-3 campaign began full of hope as the players lined up for a pre-season training photo.
They are, from left, George Cummins, Ted Sagar, Jackie Grant, Bill Fielding, J. Cross, Harry Leyland, Harry Potts, Danny Donovan, Eric Moore and Tony McNamara.
Promotion again eluded the Toffees as they finished 16th with 38 points, but reached the semi-finals of the FA Cup losing 4-3 to Bolton Wanderers.
Everton would achieve promotion the next season, finishing second on goal difference to Leicester City with 56 points.
Trainer Wilf Dixon took his own pictures when the Everton squad lined up for their annual team photocall at their West Derby training ground in July 1969.
Alan Ball, Howard Kendall and Joe Royle were among the players in Dixon’s viewfinder as manager Harry Catterick prepared them for the season ahead.
And what a season it was! Everton stormed to the First Division title with 66 points, a full nine points ahead of second-placed Leeds. Royle was top scorer with 23 goals.
Finally in our photo line-up, a pre-season trainer who got away! Larry Lloyd left Liverpool in August 1974 to join Coventry City as new manager Bob Paisley preferred Phil Thompson at centre half.
Lloyd transferred for a club record fee of £240,000, but spent only two years with Coventry. Brian Clough snapped him up for Nottingham Forest for £60,000 in October 1976.