Town stars itching to get started

Fleetwood fans applaud their team after last season's final game
Fleetwood fans applaud their team after last season's final game

Graham Alexander insists his Fleetwood Town players are itching to get back into action, with just a week to go before they return for training.

Town will report to the club’s new training ground at Poolfoot Farm for the first time a week today.

And the squad, boosted by summer captures Declan McManus, Amari’i Bell and Jimmy Ryan, will return ready to hit the ground running, says manager Alexander, excited by a tough pre-season programme and a second League One campaign.

The big kick-off at home to Southend United is still over six weeks away but Alexander made it clear he’s ready for the hard work to begin.

The Town boss said: “The players have had a good break this time and they’ve deserved it – over the last couple of seasons they have done fantastically well.

“We’re going to have to work hard when we get back. We’re getting itchy feet now.

“I’ve spoken to a couple of players in the last week and they can’t wait to get back.”

The players – including Nathan Pond, Stephen Jordan, Jamille Matt and Tyler Forbes, who all signed new deals in the closed season –have all been handed strict fitness regimes to adhere to.

And Alexander expects them to be in perfect shape when they get back, ready to put the £6.5m complex at Poolfoot Farm to serious use for the first time.

“They’ve gone on their holidays and have been keeping up with the fitness programme,” he explained. “But nothing beats being back in.

“We’re excited about working at the new training ground and getting back into the games.

“Not only are the supporters excited by the pre-season fixtures we’ve got planned (including Burnley and Getafe) but the players are as well.

“That’s important – that they’re motivated and ready to go.”

It’s been a longer summer break for Alexander and his players this time around – something he’s glad of after a truncated close-season last time around.

“The play-off final last year took us to the end of May,” he said. “It was difficult to plan ahead when you didn’t know which division you were going to be in – then it’s decided over one game.

“We had two days of celebrating, then it was straight into planning for next season. We were quickly back into pre-season.”