With the new season coming ever closer, Worksop Town begin their pre-season games on Wednesday with new manager Ryan Hindley delighted with the attitude of his squad.
The Tigers kick off at Retford United on Wednesday night (7.45) and Hindley smiled: “Everybody is in good spirits and fitness levels look good.
“Where are where I expected us to be though, for me, the game has probably come a week early. But we are looking very, very sharp.
“We have a couple more good sessions ahead and then the lads will be champing to play a game.
“I would have just liked two more sessions. At this level you have people on holiday and people working and you don’t always get that five or six solid sessions with everybody fitness-wise and football-wise.
“We will certainly be fit when we play Retford though we might not be very good with the football!
“I can’t promise all the new players will be available on Wednesday but there should be plenty of them on show for the fans to see.”
Hindley has put the players through some rigorous sessions and not found any of them wanting so far.
“What has pleased me most has been their work rate,” he said.
“They have had a couple of very tough sessions. The first one was just two hours of solid running and not one of them quit.
“They have been absolutely outstanding and they have made me a happy manager so far. The might upset me when the balls come out though!”
Hindley can feel the excitement building up inside him for his first season of management at NCEL Premier Division level.
“It feels like that night before you go on holiday or Christmas Eve – it’s like come on, get on with it,” he said. “You know it’s coming but it takes its time in coming.
“But I am very focused. This is a big job – a serious job. When you have 500-600 punters there is a demand there to be successful.
“I am looking forward to it but focused on making sure we are at the highest level we can be in terms of fitness, shape and having a team rather than individuals.
“We have that little sprinkling of magic dust we need in certain areas. But we are going to be a very solid, hard-working team.”
Like every manager, Hindley knows the importance of making a good start when the real action kicks in.
“Every single manager from Premier League down to whatever level wants to get off to a flyer,” he said.
“No one wants to lose games. But we are going to lose games and people need to be aware of that and make sure we stick together.
“There are no ‘gimmes’ in the fixtures this season. Everybody in this league has signed better players and it’s going to be really tough with five or six more than capable of winning it.
“There are no ‘bottom sides’ any more. They are all good, competent sides and the three teams that came up are all good sides wanting to get off to flyers as well. It is going to be a very competitive league.”
Hindley may still bring in a couple more players to complete the squad but will be careful not to destroy the spirit and camaraderie already evident among his players.
“There may be one or two we are looking at. But we have to make sure they are right for the group,” he said.
“I have seen something in this group that I’ve not seen in a group of players before.
“There is a burning desire to play for Worksop Town. The players are not here for money. They are here because they want to play in front of the masses and want to play for Worksop.
“People want to play on that beautiful surface and want to play in front of people.”
He added: “I won’t upset this group. We’ll bring in one or two of we need to but they will be the right ones. Ability means nothing to me. They have to be right for this club.
“I am excited about the lads in there at the minute. There is a buzz and a determination to succeed.”