In less than three weeks Blyth Spartans return to pre-season training, and it can’t come quick enough for defender Danny Parker.
The former Motherwell and Bishop Auckland centre back admitted that he is coming into his second pre-season with the club in a much better state than he did 12 months ago, something he believes will give him a “better foundation” as he looks to continue the form that earned him an England C representative call-up last season.
“I’m eager to get back and get things started again,” he said.
“Last season I came into pre-season on the back of some bad injury problems, so this year I can build my season on a better foundation in regards to fitness.
“I want to continue where I left off last season and put in a better performance as an individual and contribute more to the team.”
Spartans achieved an eighth place finish in the Evo-Stik Northern Premier League, a position many thought was unattainable at the start of the campaign.
The season of progression had led to speculation several members of the squad would be tempted away.
However, much to the delight of manager Tom Wade, the vast majority of the squad have committed to another season at Croft Park.
That news left Parker “delighted” and he feels it can only help Spartans in the season ahead.
“I’m delighted the lads have stuck together,” he added.
“I think we all know that there is a great thing going here.
“Everyone could see we had an excellent team spirit last season and that improved as we got to know each other that will be a massive benefit this season.”
There will also be new faces on show for the club when they return for pre-season with the news of four new additions to the squad, and Parker is enthused by the signings.
He said: “I’m looking forward to seeing the new lads play and seeing what they’re about.
“Many of the lads have played with the new signings and have had nothing but praise for them.
“The standards at the club are rising all of the time so the new additions with help us to improve even further.”