Josh Earl is excited to be back for his first pre-season as an established first team member at PNE.
Earl emerged as one of the unexpected stars of the season in the 2017/18 season, making his first start for the club and stepping up to the level of the Championship seamlessly.
This season he has been given the No.3 shirt, but he is taking nothing for granted and is working extremely hard to make sure that a starting spot is his.
Speaking to iFollowPNE, he said: “It’s all about fighting for your spot.
“Last year I got a good run of games, but it was through injury; so this year I want to make sure that I can try and solidify a spot and fight for it and make the shirt mine.
“The number means nothing. It’s just a number at the end of the day, if I was still 32 I’d still be fighting for my spot, so I’m happy with the number, but I can’t read into anything like that.”
With one hot week of training down, and another one to come, it has added an increased difficulty to the high intensity fitness training the players are doing; but it is still something the young left back enjoys.
“It’s been tough, but it has been enjoyable at the same time. I’m excited to be back and all the lads look fit and raring to go for the season ahead.
“Old school methods are out of the window nowadays.
“We are working really hard, but a lot of football is weaved into it, so we’re just getting ready for the upcoming season and the upcoming games.
“It makes it a lot harder to run in this heat, but I’d rather run in the heat than the rain, so I’m not complaining.”
With minds now turning towards the first pre-season game on Saturday against Bamber Bridge, it’s an opportunity for players and fans and players alike.
“It’s a chance for us to show all of the fans what we’ve got on offer this season; to show them how good we are and how far we’re going to go.
“It’s also a chance to impress the gaffer again and get back in the gaffer’s books, so we’re all looking forward to the game.
“We’re all fighting for our spots back again.
“The gaffer’s open minded, we’re all back in training, training hard and we all have to prove to the gaffer that we deserve the shirt that we want.”
You can watch the full interview with Josh Earl by clicking on the video above.