Bedlington Terriers’ pre-season plans begin on Saturday and manager Andy Ferrell has expressed his aspiration to get the team bond “strong” before the campaign begins in just over a month.
Five new arrivals and three players that have just re-signed will be joined by 15 trialists hoping to make an impact during the next four weeks.
Ferrell said: “For me, pre-season isn’t about getting results, it is about getting the squad match fit for the start of the season on August 8.
“I am looking forward to it all starting once again, no one enjoys pre-season trying to get fit, you do what you can to get fit and it pushes you to the limit, that is what it is all about.
“Not every one of the 15 trialists will be getting a contract, obviously, but I am sure that there will be one or two there that are gems, they will be getting a fair crack at the whip.”
They will face four sides from the league below themselves and three stern tests against clubs from the Northern Alliance premier division with the possibility of one more fixture.
Ferrell’s assistant Paul Hogg said time “isn’t an issue” and that “We will be training twice a week and we will be flexible in the way we go about each opponent”.
Ferrell added: “We are having to cram a lot of work into two sessions a week, it will be tough for the lads fitness-wise, but as long as the lads are fit for August 8 then I will be happy.
“Hoggy isn’t the type of person to do things on the day it happens, he has stated that he has his plans all the way until the end of July, which is credit to himself.
“He is planning well ahead, if the lads are putting in as much effort as Hoggy is planning it then we should do alright.”