ASK any player at any professional football club and arguably the one thing they fear most about joining a new club is the dreaded initiation sing-song!
On Sunday night at the club’s #RsInHolland tour base in Mill, new Rangers signing Jake Bidwell – as well as fellow new recruits Ariel Borysiuk and Joel Lynch – came under the spotlight.
Thankfully for all three of the R’s summer signings, they passed the test with flying colours, with Bidwell’s rendition of Uncle Kracker’s ‘Follow Me’ a hit with his new team-mates.
“It’s always nerve-wracking when you have to do the singing,” he told www.qpr.co.uk.
“It’s the third time I’ve done it now so I was aware of what was coming.
“It’s never nice, but it helps build spirit and settle the new lads in, which is what pre-season is all about.”
Bidwell, of course, joined QPR from Brentford on Friday evening, and less than 48 hours later was boarding a plane to Holland with his new team-mates.
“I’ve settled in well,” he said.
“There’s a really good spirit amongst the lads and they’ve helped me settle in during my first couple of days.
“It can be difficult, but there’s a really strong spirit amongst the squad and that’s always welcoming when you’re a new player coming into a club."
Whilst Rangers returned to pre-season training two weeks’ ago, Bidwell’s pre-season at his former club Brentford started a week later.
With that in mind, he admits he’s playing catch-up at his new club, but is relishing the challenge.
“I’m playing catch-up a little bit because the lads here came back earlier than I did with Brentford,” he said.
“I knew it would be a tough couple of weeks when I arrived here and I’m sure that will be the case.
“I felt good this morning though and the intensity was at such a high level that you just bring yourself up to the same level without even thinking about it.”
He added: “I’m not exactly where I want to be, but the more sessions like this that I get under my belt, the better I’ll be.
“We’ve got a couple of matches during the tour and hopefully I’ll get some game-time and take another few steps up the ladder.”
After a gruelling two-hour session this morning, the squad are back training again at 4.30pm (local time) later this afternoon.
Bidwell added: “There’s no respite. It’s double-sessions all the way.
“You train, go for a quick pool session, have a bit to eat, rest for a couple of hours, and then go again.
“That’s just the way it is in pre-season. You become accustomed to it after a while.”