John Mousinho is full of excitement ahead of his first chance to pull on a North End shirt in anger at Southport this weekend.
North End could break new ground at Southport on Saturday, potentially starting the game with a team of players who have never pulled on the famous lilywhite shirt before.
The team head to Haig Avenue to start their 2012/13 pre-season campaign and one of the new summer recruits, John Mousinho, can’t wait for three o’clock Saturday to come around.
“I’m raring to go,” he told PNE.Com. “ I have been since I signed. It is going to be brilliant. At any new club it is something you look forward to, especially now, because it is a new beginning and we have all the new players.
“The excitement is building around the Club and the fans are going to be desperate to see what is on show and from that point of view it our chance to get our names in the door with the fans, with the manager, with the other coaching staff and with the other players as well, because the other players aren’t quite sure what everyone else is about and that’s maybe one of the most important things.”
Mousinho is just one of the many new faces in the dressing room, but he says that the bonding process has been an easy one and that the integration of the players was almost instantaneous.
“One of the big things that we had to focus on coming into pre-season was that we had so many new players from all over the place,” he continued. “Some of us knew each other and some of us didn’t. It was going to be a change and it was going to be different for everyone and so far it has been brilliant.
“Everyone has bought into it and is working really hard. We have got a really good ten days under our belts and we’re just a day away from the first pre-season game and once that gets going it becomes one step closer to the start of the season and everyone looks forward to that.”
Of those new players it could have been easy for those who knew the manager’s methods to have got on with their own business, but the 26-year-old says that this aspect has actually helped the squad to progress more quickly.
“It helped from our point of view because we knew what to expect and we’d worked with the manager and coaching staff before. I think it also helped the other lads because they had a players’ insight into what training might be like and the coaching staff’s methods.
“I’m hoping that we’ve helped them to integrate as well and they are all really good lads, but it has been really easy for us to separate as a group and get on with everyone individually and get everyone going and into the regime.
“It is no secret that we work hard, but we work smart as well. We don’t just flog away for the sake of it and the players understand that. Players relish the opportunity to make themselves stronger, mentally stronger, tactically, technically – all the facets that make a good player and make a good team and they relish the opportunity to do that and build on it and make a success of themselves and the Club.
“Anyone who has had a glimpse of training or who has been in or around the Club will have picked up the vibe that has been around and it has been really good and the lads are itching to get a pre-season game under their belts, which is a good sign.
“We have a lot of new players who we are trying to mould into our game plan and it is very important that we start out as we mean to go on and sometimes pre-season is just that for a lot of clubs. We have to start approaching games with the right frame of mind and the right mentality and physicality and these games are going to be key.
“We only have six weeks until the first game of the season and we are already ten days into that and come the 13th August we have to do that. If you prepare yourself during pre-season games in the right way then when it comes to the first game of the season you are firing.”
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