Graham Alexander is delighted the waiting is over as he embarks on his first full week of pre-season training as Fleetwood Town manager.
After reporting in for fitness tests 10 days ago, the players began training in earnest last Wednesday.
Alexander said: “I’ve been waiting for this for the last month and counting off the days. A lot of the work I’ve been doing over the summer has been on the business side of things but the best thing for every manager or coach is being on the pitch with the players.
“I couldn’t wait for the players to be in and to get to work with them because it’s the best bit of what we do. I’m absolutely buzzing.
And Alexander is pleased with what he has seen from the players so far.
“It’s going well,” he said. “The lads are acquitting themselves well in terms of the work that’s being put in front of them and the group is bonding well.
“We’ve got a few new faces and a couple of lads who have signed professional forms from our own youth set-up. It’s really good.
“The lads have been pushing each other and the work ethic is impressive.”
Alexander admitted the early days of training , when fitness was a priority, were a chore but vital to producing a successful side.
He said: “It’s not the most enjoyable time for a professional footballer. But we know the work has to be done if we are going to be competitive.
“They’re not moaning too much yet. I might be joking a little but it’s par for the course that moaning gets you through it.”
Town are taking a scientific approach to making sure each player gets the most out of the sessions.
Alexander said: “We’ve got some different levels of fitness but we’re monitoring heartrates, so we know each individual is working at their maximum.
“That’s what we need if we are to have everybody in peak condition in a month’s time.”
Away from the hard work, the Town players have also had a chance to catch up after the summer break and Alexander added: “As a player, I always found that although the work is hard when you come back it’s great to be with the lads and playing again.
“The lads have been really good. They’ve been encouraging each other. It’s great for team spirit.”
Town face Northwich Victoria on Thursday before travelling to their alpine training camp in Austria next weekend. Besides high-altitude training they will play two matches, one of them against Cypriot champions APOEL.
Alexander is pleased with his backroom team’s contribution at this important time of year. He added: “The staff around me are all fantastic. They are taking their responsibilities very seriously and showing professional standards to push the players to the next level.”