We caught up with striker Cole Stockton at the Sunday Fun Day to get his thoughts on pre-season so far.
“It’s always nice to get back playing,” he said. “Pre-season is always tough because fitness is different to match fitness. You can do all the running you want in training but as soon as you start playing that’s when you really start to build things up.
"A lot of pre-season is about awareness and things like that. You’ve got to know when to make a run and when not to, and that's why it’s totally different to normal fitness."
“I’m enjoying it," he confirmed. "It’s been good to get to know the new lads and it’s always nice to get a goal in any game. It doesn’t matter what level it’s at, a goal is a goal, and it’s always nice for a striker to score.
“The build up from Hallam [Hope] out wide was good and I knew he was going to cross it because of the position of his body. He put it in and I timed my run well. It was nice to see it go in."
A scheduled 45 minutes on Saturday became a full 90 minutes of football when fellow forward Richie Bennett pulled out of the warm-up ahead of kick off.
“Richie was going to play the first half and I was going to play the second, so I had to do a quick five minute warm-up when he pulled out," he explained. "You’ve always got to be ready and I won’t moan at getting 90 minutes this early in pre-season.
“It’s a fresh start for everyone with the new manager coming in and we’re all looking to impress. It’s a clean slate for everyone, including the players who were here last year. When a new manager comes in it’s about getting to know each other and I’m enjoying working with him already.
"He’s a good manager and he had a very good career, so he’ll be someone we can all learn from. Muzza [Paul Murray] and Tommy [Wright] are the same, so there’s a good backroom staff there for us to work with."
Looking back to last term, he told us: “Last season was a massive learning experience for me. I will learn a lot from it and make sure I push on from it.
"I feel like I’ve got things to prove to myself this season. I don’t worry about other people, I just want to prove things to myself.
“I’ve got to set myself targets for this season because last year was a bit of stand-still for me. There’s no chance I’m standing still this year. I’m a striker and I’ve got to show people what I’m about. I’m just looking forward to scoring goals.”
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