John Coleman was pleased with the start to pre-season training made by his players as preparations step up for the new campaign.
Six summer signings joined the club’s contracted players and a number of trialists as the hard work started yesterday.
And the manager was happy with the condition of those who reported back to the Wham Stadium.
“The modern day player is very vain about his body so you very rarely get them coming back out of shape,” said Coleman. “It’s really just a case of enhancing their fitness and trying to get them in peak condition for the Doncaster game on the opening weekend.
“It’s a cliché that no medals are won in the summer but it’s true. We have to get them primed into being right for when it matters. We’ve been doing it for so long now that it’s become second nature but we’re always trying to improve and use new technology but at the end of the day you can’t beat your own eye. You can tell whether a player is in tip top shape or not.
“Working with the players is what you wait for. It’s the part of the job that I enjoy the most. It’s certainly where I get my kicks from.
“I’m delighted with the business we’ve done. We had a bit of an exodus and you start to worry that you might not be able to replace those lads in time and end up building on top of a skeleton squad.
“We have the basis of our squad now and we might add one or two more but I’m happy with the business we’ve done. It’s no secret that we struggle budget wise but the owner has helped raise it a little bit. We still won’t be able to compete with the big hitters but it may get us off bottom spot.”
A number of players from last season’s squad who have been offered new contracts returned yesterday, including Adam Buxton, Rommy Boco, Terry Gornell and Shay McCartan.
“I hope the lads who have come back will stay,” revealed the manager. “I know that Terry definitely is. I have to finalise things with Bucko but I think that will get done. I’ve spoken to Tom Davies and he won’t be re-signing but I’ve wished him all the best for the future. He did well for us last year and I hope he builds on that in his career.
“I think there was a lot of conjecture over Shay McCartan but he’s come back for pre-season. I think this is a big year for Shay. I think he’s one of the most talented players knocking around in the lower leagues and if it all clicks into place who knows where that could take him?”
There are also a number of players looking to win contracts with a range of talents including those with Football League experience and prospects from the non-league game.
Coley concedes it’ll be tough to catch the eye but beneficial for all involved.
“We’ve possibly got more trialists than I’d envisaged, possibly because I only did a lot of business in the last week or so,” he concluded. “There’s possibly too many but what they will get is a good fitness schedule and good base for wherever they go because we won’t be able to take them all on.”