Andrew Danylyszyn says the Tamworth squad are itching to get back to playing football again as they prepare for Saturday’s pre-season opener with Bedworth United.
The Lambs get preparations for the new season underway on Saturday afternoon, after returning to training two weeks ago.
Tamworth haven’t played since December’s FA Trophy tie with Royston, the season being declared null and void not long after.
With so long between training, Danylyszyn admits he thought he might have had to work more on fitness levels with his players – but he admits it’s been far from that.
“The lads have come back in better shape than I originally thought they would,” he said.
“I didn’t think they would be as sharp or as fit in terms of body composition and body weight. The new players have settled in well and immediately bought into the culture we have around work rate and there’s a hunger and desire already within the team.
“I’m impressed with their attitude; the lads are enjoying training. It’s a great start and we’re further ahead than I thought we would be at this stage, which is really positive.
“The lads have been missing for a while, so they’ve got an appetite to be back on the pitch. Obviously, there’s going to be things we still need to work on, and the lads will need to get back into things and the routine of matchday.
“But training’s been going really well. What a proper match gives us is a chance to observe what we still need to work on going forward. I’m looking forward to the game and to see the fans but it’s good mainly for the lads to get back out there.”
As far as new faces go, Tamworth fans might expect to see some more business in the coming weeks.
But they won’t be rushing to bring someone in for the sake of it.
“There’s only one player that we might go for if he becomes available,” Danylyszyn said.
“If that doesn’t happen, we’re really happy with who we’ve got in the building already. We’ve got young lads that have come through our academy who are blossoming.
“They’re chomping at the bit and what they’re doing now is seeing if they’re ready for the step up to men’s football and to be fair, most of them have adapted really well.
“We want to give youngsters an opportunity because we’ve got some great coaches, like Scott Rickards, in the academy so you know that the players coming from there are going to be developed really well and they’re going to come through with a similar ethos and work rate that we’ve implemented in the first team.
“We’ve lost Jordan Gough who is experienced but we’ve signed some good replacements who have got good experience. Pre-season gives the lads an opportunity to stake a claim.
“Nothing is done because of who you are here, a lot of what we do and how we pick the team is down to stats so if you’re performing and you’re good enough; you’re old enough.
“We’ve got some numbers in defence but it’s for lads to say, ‘I want that Tamworth shirt and I want to be in the starting line-up,’ and that’s what we want our players to be like at this club.”