Despite his hectic summer, Bailey Wright is raring to go ahead of the big kick-off next Saturday against Notts County.
And although he has lost some time running through cones and gaining fitness, the Australian International doesn’t feel it’s hampered his preparations one bit going into the opening day clash of the 2014/15 campaign against the Magpies this weekend.
Speaking at Preston North End''s 2014/15 kit launch, Wright said “I’ve missed a few weeks training because I had to have some time to recover.”
“From what the boys have said, it’s been a tougher pre-season to the previous ones we’ve had but everyone’s feeling fit and match sharp now that the first game is upon us.
“I might have missed a bit of the hard stuff at the start of pre-season but at the same time I had to let my body recover.
“Do I feel as good as I did last season? I think so - It’s been a good few weeks training and I feel fit, I got 90 minutes under my belt the other night and I feel match sharp.
“I didn’t have as much rest as I could have done with but at the same time it’s kept me fit which is the main thing."
As Preston’s longest serving player currently in the squad, Wright has seen his fair share of North End pre-season’s but despite that tag, the 22-year-old doesn’t feel more of a burden as he goes into his sixth season at the Club from youth to first-team level.
“I wouldn’t say there’s a responsibility,” added Wright on being at Preston longer than any other of the current crop.
“You’ve just got to look to continue to progress – there’s a pressure in football that means you’ve always got to want to better yourself.
“When you’re at a club so long you see players come and go and there’s a lot of change.
“But this year feels similar to last year - There was a lot of buzz about the place then and there is now.
“We were disappointed with how things ended last year but that has only made us stronger - We want to do it the better way this year and win the league.”
This weekend’s opponents, Notts County looked all but relegated half-way through last season, but a rejuvenated County side under the guidance of Shaun Derry managed to beat the drop on the final day of last season after six wins in their last nine games saw them safe.
And Wright is weary that if they produce the form that saw them home last season, they’ll prove to be a stern test come August 9th.
“Their manager came in half way through the season and did well, and he’s bought a few players in over the summer so it’ll be interesting to see how they get on,” Wright continued.
“First game of the new season is always a tough one no matter who you play, but for us it's three points on the table and that’s what we need to take.
“They had a good end to the season last year but that was last season - it’s all about this year now."