Although Sam Cole has yet to make a final decision on his future, he did join up with the rest of the Eastbourne Borough squad as they resumed pre-season training last week.
While both Cole and Elliott Charles are free agents until pen is put to paper, only the defender chose to begin his pre-season with the rest of the Borough boys as Tommy Widdrington recalled his men from the summer break.
Cole wasn’t the only inclusion from outside those 11 men that have signed on, with Widdrington inviting members from other branches of the club, like youth and reserve sections, along to training.
Widdrington said, “Sam has trained with us and been made an offer. I’ve got 11 men, 12 including him, that I consider mine in those sessions.
“There’s been about 25 people in each session, five from last year’s reserve squad and five from the academy.
“A lot of what we’ve done so far has been on general fitness levels and they’ve all coped well.
“There’s been a great atmosphere as they all get to know each other and to get a good relationship with the first team players will only help the younger lads. I always look to open doors, if they’re good enough.”
Widdrington has been delighted with the response from his players in their first three pre-season training sessions and now looks to step it up, including taking them out and about around the town.
He added, “We’ve had three sessions now and I’d say they were probably in better shape than I planned for.
“Now, we’ll kick on with the pre-season plan - the balls will come out a bit earlier.
“I was impressed and everybody’s really optimistic. When you’ve worked with somebody before, they’re able to prepare a bit more and we can move forward quickly and make progress together.
“Gone are the days when you’d run until you fell over or run until you were sick. A lot of thought and planning goes into these sessions.
“There’s a lot of beautiful locations around Eastbourne and so we’ll go out and about, I’ll take them up to the top of the Downs, as well as all the work we have to do at Priory Lane.”