Eastbourne Borough boss Garry Wilson insists there is no sign of a relegation hangover as his side continue their preparations for life in the Blue Square Bet South.
Last season was an exhaustive affair and drained the morale and energy of players, management and fans alike as they struggled to cope with the high demands of the Premier.
But after a brief close season Boro’ are back in business and look forward to welcoming Hayes and Yeading to Priory Lane tomorrow (Saturday) for a friendly clash.
Despite suffering a 2-0 defeat in the Sussex Senior Cup final to Brighton reserves, Wilson believes the summer break, coupled with some shrewd close season signings has brought the feel good factor back to Priory Lane.
“The early signs look promising and we are happy with the pre-season so far. We are carrying a few niggling injuries which we have to be careful with but other than that it’s a happy camp.
“Last season the players were thinking this is going to be tough. Although we know it’s going to hard again, the players can see that we are building a squad that will be competitive this season.
“The spirit is excellent. I’m pleased with how the new signings are settling in, some of them need a few games under their belts but we will get there.”
Of Boro’s defeat at the AMEX Community Stadium Wilson added, “It was a good experience but it was not the best game of football if I’m totally honest.
“Because of our fitness levels we were forced to play a containing game and try and hit them on the break. We held our shape well in the first half but we were not much of an attacking force.
“We tried to push on in the second but they picked us off and in the end we perhaps ran out of a little steam. But that is what pre-season is all about, it served as a good work out and I’m sure our fitness levels will improve because of that.”
Hayes and Yeading visit Priory Lane tomorrow (Saturday) and Wilson said it will provide another stern test against full-time opposition.
Ben Watson, Ben Austin, Gary Elphick and Ross Treleaven could all miss out with injury. Young left winger Sam Cole could be handed a chance to impress after Matt Crabb limped off in the second half of the Senior Cup final.