Barry Nicholson is in Austria celebrating a year as Fleetwood’s first-team coach – and what a whirlwind and historic year it has been for the Scot and for Town.
Nicholson was promoted from development squad manager after Chris Lucketti left to team up with ex-Fleetwood boss Graham Alexander at Scunthorpe.
That was not to be the only change in personnel last summer, with Uwe Rosler and his assistant Rob Kelly walking into Highbury days before the start of a season, a move that set the ball rolling on Town’s highest-ever League finish.
Rosler’s arrival followed Steven Pressley’s shock resignation just after Town’s last pre-season tour in Holland.
But there appears to be no risk of such upheaval this time, with Nicholson speaking of the harmony throughout the club as he celebrates his anniversary at Town’s alpine training base in Kossen.
Speaking to the club website in Austria, Nicholson said: “I love it here. The gaffer has been great since he has came into the club last season. He has been great with me and given me loads to do.
“We sort of split the groups up. I do a lot of stuff with the midfielders and we have done that over the last couple of days.
“You work with a close group, and you get to know their flaws and their ins and outs. It is really good.
“The gaffer has been great with me. I feel a really big part of the coaching staff.”
And after starting pre-season with a 1-0 win over Nicholson’s hometown club Queen of the South last Friday, Town are back in action this afternoon.
They play their first match in Austria against German club Karlsruher SC at SV Hopfgarten today.
And Nicholson says preparation is key as Town prepare to build on that fourth-placed finish next term, starting with a home clash against Rotherham on August 5.
He said: “I think everyone is looking forward to the season starting already.
“It is three or four weeks away but everybody can’t wait to get started.”
Having joined the coaching staff at Fleetwood in 2015, the former Scotland international midfielder hopes to pass on some of his experience to Town’s young players.
And he has plenty of experience from a 19-year senior playing career which ended in his native Scotland at Kilmarnock in 2014, following stints at Rangers, Preston, Dunfermline, Aberdeen and Fleetwood.
He said: “I’m just hoping to bring the little things I have learned along the way in my career and try to pass them on to the lads and try to help the gaffer and Rob as much as I can.
“Obviously we didn’t finish on the best of notes last season (as Town lost 1-0 on aggregate to Bradford City in the play-off semi-final), but overall I think we have got to be really pleased with how far the lads came.
“We just want to try to improve again. The simple fact is we want to win and we want to be up there challenging again.
“To do that we have got prepare right. That is what we will do here and for three weeks when we go back home.”