First-team midfielder Brad Carroll is pleased with how the Reds squad are looking having recently returned for pre-season.
Carroll, one of many key members of the side since the era of now former manager Danny Grainger began in 2019, has reflected on the difficulties of last season but is relishing the ‘fresh start’ this time around.
“It’s been almost 18 months now since we were properly into things,” he admitted.
“We didn’t have the best start last year, and we’re not making excuses, but COVID played its part, so it was hard to get into it.
“Hopefully, this year with a fresh start and things going in the right direction, we can get going again.
Carroll added: “It was stop-start and as much as you try to stay focussed and positive, we all knew it never going to carry on through with all the uncertainty out of our control.
“We’re back in training now, the lads look sharp and we’re now just getting ready for that first game.”
Grainger’s recent departure to Falkirk has left Steven Rudd in temporary charge, and Carroll knows the more experienced heads in the dressing room will have to help out during the transition to avoid dropping the ball,
“Danny was a massive part of the club; he built the squad, brought in some great players and had us playing great football,” he explained.
“From the backroom staff and volunteers to the board, everyone’s been great in that time and now he’s gone, it’s up to us to step up.”
“The senior players like Tinners [Conor Tinnion] Goose [Dan Wordsworth], myself and Scotty [Allison] need to take charge with Ruddy at the minute because people can get complacent in pre-season – we need to be working hard now more than ever.”
The hard work has already started, with five sessions in the books including an assault course on Thursday evening and a trip to Derwentwater with Glaramara Activity Centre last week.
Tomorrow (Saturday), though, is a chance to get back to some normality: on the pitch in front of our supporters during our Football Festival and Open Day at Borough Park.
“It’ll be nice to have the fans back, they’re absolutely fantastic,” said Carroll.
“I know the supporters put some money towards the charity event which Brad Hubbold and I were involved in over the weekend, so it just shows how great they are.
He continued: “I know it’s not a game but it’ll be nice to be back at Borough Park looking ahead to the start of the season.”
The charity event our two Brads took part in last Saturday – after a team bonding session in the Lakes – was organised by Barrow AFC to raise funds for improved disabled facilities at their stadium and local grassroots football.
Carroll and Hubbold featured in the 24-hour football match, camping out overnight and Brad C was more than chuffed with the success of the occasion.
“Luckily, the weather was good!
“It was a brilliant event for a great cause and I think the last time I looked, we’d raised over £7,000.
“It was tough, don’t get me wrong – I definitely won’t be going up Honister Pass beforehand if we do it again!
“Fair play to all the players that took part, the people who organised it and anyone who donated because it’s all for a great local cause.”
We’re looking forward to seeing you tomorrow from 9:30am!