This season will be my fifth in Barnes colours, and I can honestly say I have never been more excited to get going. I’ve had a think about why this is, and without a doubt the disappointment of last season plays a part.
I won’t forget that feeling at Bishops Stortford in a hurry; missing out in the last play of the game, then watching them celebrate promotion knowing that we hadn’t done enough to avoid relegation.
Six weeks into pre-season, the focus and determination I see across the playing group to put this right is clear - we’re desperate to get going. The other reason is more straightforward; after a fantastic end of season tour to Bordeaux, followed by what feels like two months of continuous weddings and brunches, it’s great to see the boys again. Both on and off the pitch, we have a fantastic group of players who have grown tighter over the past couple of seasons. We’re all here because we want to be, and because we genuinely enjoy it - something I love about the club.
The coaching team have done a fantastic job so far this pre-season, bolstered by two inspired additions in ex-players Pat Crossley (Forwards) and Joel Burgess (Strength & Conditioning) - we’ve certainly been put through our paces.
On the playing side, 40+ players have consistently made the trip down to Barn Elms on a Tuesday and Thursday, including a number of exciting new faces that we hope can bolster the core group of players we bring forward from last season. Everyone’s been putting in a real shift, which needs to continue into August and throughout the season if we are to achieve our goals. I have every confidence in the boys and look forward to leading them out come September.
Bring it on!
Updated 15:37 - 14 Aug 2017 by Paul Spencer