Full-back Shaun Beeley is determined to avoid a repeat of the “burnout” which he feels spoiled his first season at non-league’s elite level with Fleetwood Town.
Beeley was only on the bench for Saturday’s win over Stockport following his midweek exertions with England C in Gibraltar, but it will be a shock if he doesn’t return to the starting XI at Gateshead this weekend.
The 23-year-old feels sharp and doesn’t want to miss a game, though he is also wary of what happened to him in the second half of last season.
The Town right-back explained: “It’s important to try to play in every game. You have to play as many games as possible to develop but you have to be careful you don’t get burnt out.
“That happened to me last year after Christmas. I did lose a bit of energy but hopefully it won’t happen this year.”
Town fell at the final hurdle in the promotion race last term, and that’s something else Beeley wants to see change this time around.
He added: “Last year shocked us as bit because we did well – probably a bit better than we expected.
“This year has been a kick on again. We want to win and the drive to win is even bigger this year.”
Beeley did not escape the injury curse which plagued Town’s wide players in the early stages of the season but he has put those problems behind him.
“I had a couple of injuries which slowed me down, but I think I have come back stronger and I feel sharp.”
Indeed, it was no surprise when the attacking full-back earned England C selection, and he thoroughly enjoyed the experience despite England’s rather embarrassing 3-1 defeat in Gibraltar.
“I thought I did quite well considering it was an artificial pitch,” he said.
“It was a great experience and something different. I hope it happens again, but if not it’s something I can tick off and say I’ve done that.”
His focus is now fully on a Fleetwood Town side he hardly recognises from the club he joined four seasons ago.
“It’s scary how far we have moved on as a team and as a club,” he said.
“We have great players and some who will be hard to keep hold of, but there’s good banter and team spirit, and I think we will go far in the league and hopefully in the FA Cup.”
Interview: DAVID MITCHELL