THE hard work starts here for Warrington Town.

Six months after their last game, manager Paul Carden reassembles his squad for pre-season training today as they prepare for a campaign that will hopefully be a lot longer than the last.

Barring a couple of exceptions, the majority of the squad that finished the Covid-curtailed 2020-21 campaign will take part in the first pre-season session on Saturday ahead of another tilt at the Pitching In Northern Premier League Premier Division.

Some new faces will join the group with the aim of earning a place in the squad, with the team’s first pre-season friendly at Maghull taking place on July 10.

The preconception of pre-season is that it is all about fitness, but Carden expects his players to arrive back already in top condition.

“There’s been bigger and more important things happening than football but when it’s been part of your life for so long, you never think there’s anything more important,” he said.

“It’s been weird. It’s been that long that you become used to not playing or coaching.

“I’m sure come Saturday, that will quickly change.

“I’m a big believer that pre-season isn’t about getting fit. It’s about getting sharp and getting prepared to play.

“Lads who come back out of shape with all the time off we’ve had will find it really hard to impress.

“They will already be a few steps behind because having spoken to the players, everybody has been on it.

“I’m not fond of taking a lot of lads in on trial because I don’t think it’s fair, but we will have a few in.

“The same thing goes for them – don’t come in expecting us to get you fit because the group will already be fit.”

Town have also added a pre-season trip to City of Liverpool to their list of friendly matches – the game takes place at Vauxhall Sports Club on Tuesday, July 20.

The new Northern Premier League season is due to get underway on Saturday, August 14.