UTTOXETER Town boss Mark Grimley says his staff and players are ‘chomping at the bit’ ahead of the start of pre-season training later this month.
Grimley and his recently-expanded backroom staff have met to discuss their plans for pre-season which gets under way on June 26 and will see the club stepping up their approach as they embark on their first campaign at step six in the non-league ladder.
The club’s pre-season fixtures have been finalised and they will provide a suitably stiff test for Town as they prepare for life at a higher level.
Among the sides Town will face leading up to the big kick-off will be Sandbach United in their opening pre-season fixture, as well as a visit to last season’s FA Vase semi-finalists, the Leicester-based St Andrews FC.
“We are looking at playing step six sides – sides at our level,” Grimley told the Advertiser. “We need to know what we are up against and be ready for it.
“I think the St Andrews game will be a really good test and a good marker for where we want to be.
“You don’t make it to the semi-finals of the Vase without being a really good side so it should provide the perfect challenge for the lads ahead of the big kick off.”
Town will also take on South Normanton, Stone Old Alleynians and Leek CSOB at Oldfields as part of their pre-season preparations, as well as making the trip to Hanley Town.
Grimley said it will be a tough pre-season for his side with fitness a key priority.
“We are chomping at the bit to get going,” he said.
“You can’t stand still or you end up getting overtaken and that is what we have to avoid.
“We want to push on.
“The spirit in the camp is good and it has to be during pre-season to get them through it as it’s not going to be easy – it never is.
“Training starts again on June 26 and we will be doing three sessions a week to make sure the lads are fit and raring to go when the season starts.
“It’s an exciting time for the football club but next year is still about consolidation for us in our first year at that level.”