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INTERVIEW: We will all want to come back to work ready to impress

Tom Parkes on his first season with the club and his aims for the next campaign

22 May 2018

We caught up with defender Tom Parkes this week to get his thoughts on his first season at Brunton Park.

“I’m quite pleased with last season on a personal level,” he said. “I felt I was quite sharp at the start of the season and I enjoyed it.

"It was difficult to play different positions towards the end of the season, but I was pretty happy with my overall performances. I played at left back a few times when I was younger, and to fill in for a game or two, but I’ve never done it as much as I did this season.

“It was disappointing to miss out on the play-offs because we had a great run at the end of the season. I think we only lost one game out of the last 14. If we’d started that run a bit earlier, maybe before Christmas, we would have had a great chance of sneaking into the top seven."

“I think my main highlight from the season would be my goal against Cambridge, but for me personally I think the whole season has been good," he told us. "I was in a bad situation at Leyton Orient with everything that happened there, so I felt fortunate to get a move which meant I could stay in the Football League. 

“I feel like I had chances across the season to score more than the one goal than I did get, especially with some of the deliveries that some of the boys put into the box. I feel like if I can hit the target a bit more and get onto the end of a few more crosses I’ll get on the scoresheet more often.

"I would like to score more goals so it’s something I’ll try and work on ahead of next season." 

“It was a great dressing room to be involved in last year and it’s been a shame to see a few of the lads leave," he admitted. "That’s part and parcel of football, so we’ll take it as it goes and see who comes in. We obviously wish all the lads who have left all the best with whatever they do next.

“We’ll all be the same as the fans in terms of watching social media to see who the new manager is going to be, and things like that. Obviously the earlier that happens the better, because then you can start to work around what we’ve got to do before pre-season.

“I’m sure all of the lads will be working hard before we come back for pre-season because we’ll all be coming in to try and impress the new manager. There will be new players who come in as well, so we’ll all be trying to fight for a place in the team." 

“The other reason why this season has been really good for me is because I’ve been able to play with some really experienced defenders," he continued. "I think Clint [Hill] came in and showed everybody why he's played at the top level for so long.

"He’s been fantastic for everyone to have in and around the dressing room. Also playing alongside Danny Grainger, and in the same position ... the help he's given me has been unbelievable. The likes of Mark Ellis and Gary Liddle are obviously very experienced as well, and they’ve also been a huge help.

"To have that kind of player beside you is massive, and it's been good for all of the younger players this season." 

As for what he'll be doing with the first part of his summer, he told us: “I’m going to have a holiday to relax, but it won’t be long before I’m back into things and getting ready for pre-season. I’ll concentrate on my fitness levels as the weeks go on and I’m already looking forward to getting going again.

“I think the main aim for everybody next season will be to try and get the club into the play-off positions, and even pushing for the automatic places. As I said, I’d like to score more goals and keep at least as many clean sheets as we did this season.”

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