We caught up with defender Christie Elliott ahead of the Friday morning training session to get his thoughts on pre-season so far.
“Pre-season is different at every club you go to, but I’ve really enjoyed it this year,” he said. “It’s been really hard, the session we did on the beach was probably one of the hardest sessions I’ve ever done, and all of the training sessions have been really enjoyable as well as hard work. We’ve got a lot from it, and it’s obviously all about being ready to go for the Crawley game.
“We’ve had a bit of variety through pre-season with the sand dunes and the kayaking we did, and things like that, which I think is important.
"It keeps you on your toes and you don’t know what to expect, and it’s all been really good for team bonding. Everyone has been pushing each other and making sure we all got through it, and it’s these things that will get us to the level we need to be at."
And on what have been some gruelling football-based sessions, he commented: “The gaffer set out the way he wants to train and play from the start, and he’s made training as hard, if not harder, than an actual game will be.
"It’s been really tough, and all the lads were dead yesterday [Thursday] after the session, but that’s what you want. You want to come off the training pitch exhausted, because it’s then in your mind that you’ll be able to get through games easily."
“We’ve got a really good group here. I know its only early doors and the real tests will come as the season starts, but everyone has been brilliant throughout pre-season," he added. "Everyone is buying into what the gaffer wants and hopefully we can continue that throughout the season.
“The gaffer has got a set way he wants us to play so it’s important we all fulfil our roles, and if we do that I think we’ll do a good job this season. We’ve got to listen to the gaffer and produce it on a Saturday."
With friendlies against Hibs, Penrith and Chester already under the belt, he said: “The friendlies so far have been really good. The Hibs game was the first time we’d all played together and I think we showed how well we can perform.
"As we play more games we’ll hopefully just keep getting better and better, and the next three friendlies will be a really good test for us.
“Pre-season is always tough with double sessions every day but once we play the Ross County game and we’re in the week leading up to the Crawley game, I think that’s when it will all start to get really exciting.
"You know the game is coming on the Saturday and you just start to really look forward to it. We want to get off to a good start and pick up three points. We know we just need new players to come in but it’s something we’re just dealing with at the moment.
"We’ve got a good squad already with players who can play a number of different positions, so with some additions we’ll be looking good."
And on his own action-packed off-season, he told us: “I had a great summer. I had my stag do, my wedding and my honeymoon between signing and coming back for pre-season, which was fantastic.
"It all went so quickly but I’m just working hard and focusing on being ready for the first game of the season. It’s important to get three points from that and hopefully we can push on from there.”
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