Ben Pearson returned alongside his team-mates to start the pre-season training this week and the midfielder is happy to be back at Springfields.
Pearson admitted there were mixed emotions for him coming into the schedule, with high temperatures and plenty of fitness work to come, but he has welcomed the return to football.
Speaking to iFollow PNE, he said: “It’s good to see all the lads and see what everyone has been getting up to for the last few months.
“Obviously with the heat it’s not ideal, but we’ve just got to get through the next month or so and get everyone back up and running.
“I’m sure the fitness coach will have it all under control as to how much we do in this weather, but we’ve just got to get through it and keep taking fluids.
“The next few days are going to be tough and then next week will be tough, but it’s all part and parcel of football and we’ve just got to get on with it.
“The first day of pre-season is mixed emotions, you’re obviously happy to be back in, back into a routine, back to see your mates and the people you work with; but on the other hand, you know what’s coming and all the physical stuff you’re going to go through. It’s a bit mixed, but I don’t find it too bad, I prefer to get into a routine.”
Different players do different things in the off-season and PNE’s No.4 chooses to use his time off to rest, building up his fitness when he’s back with the squad.
“All the lads, even when you look in there, everyone’s looking in the exact same shape. Football has moved on.
“I tend to like to rest and use pre-season to get fit; rather than do loads over the summer because I think you need that break, but lads put a lot of effort in over the summer to get as fit as possible.
“This next month or six weeks is going to be important just to get everyone up and running back to speed.
“Especially when you go ten months of the season at full throttle, no breaks, having to eat right, having to sleep right, training every day.
“If you get six weeks you have to use that, vitally, and get as much rest in as possible. I tend to just get my feet off and switch off rom football for those six to eight weeks and then use these six weeks to get as fit as possible.”
For the Oldham-born midfielder, a trip to play the Latics in pre-season gives him the opportunity to play in his hometown with a lot of his family present, a game Pearson is looking forward to.
“I grew up all my life in Oldham so it’ll be nice to go back there. A lot of my friends are supporters of Oldham so it’ll be nice for them to come down and for us to play them will be a nice thing for me, I don’t often get to play Oldham. It’ll be nice for all of my family to be able to come down.
“The manager has set the fixtures out similar to last year. We play some lower league sides, but then as the pre-season goes on we up the opponents, so that’s good. Having the variety of opponents is good, just to test where you’re at, so we’re looking forward to it.”
You can watch the full interview with Ben Pearson by clicking on the video above.