Port Vale defender Carl Dickinson is enjoying his summer break but admits he is already eager to get back into the swing of things ready for next season.
The 28-year-old was a virtual ever-present for the Valiants last season as captain, making 46 appearances in all competitions and scoring once.
Since the last game of the campaign against Fleetwood, Dickinson has been making the most of his time off and has just returned to the UK from a family holiday.
But the left back is already keen to get back to work in pre-season and stressed the importance of keeping fit in between time.
“It’s nice having your time off, I’ve just been away with my kids,” he said. “It’s nice doing that but as it gets closer you do look forward to getting back into the building and having the banter with the lads again.”
“But I think everyone knows now, even while you’re off you still have to keep fit because it’s quite a demanding game now.
“I think a few years back you were able to come back a bit overweight and that but it doesn’t happen anymore.
“Lads are still working hard in the gym, making sure they come back in fit because you don’t want to be coming back in not fit because you’re always playing catch-up then.”
Dickinson has kept up to date with all the goings-on at the club, including the arrival of new assistant manager Paul Bodin.
The former Southampton coach was a full back in his playing days for the likes of Swindon Town, Crystal Palace and Newcastle United as well as Wales at international level.
Now the Vale skipper wants to draw on the experience of the club’s new first team coach and learn as much as he can.
“I can’t wait to work with him, especially with him being a left back. It’s something for me that I can talk to him, learn from him and ask him stuff that I need to improve on,” he commented.
“I’m really looking forward to working with him, I’ve heard some really good things about him and hopefully he can come in and give a fresh approach to what we’re trying to do.
“I’m sure the lads will take to him and I’m looking forward to it, I can’t wait to get back in.”
Vale manager Rob Page has expressed his intention is to bring in five or six new players over the summer months and Dickinson is excited to welcome some fresh faces into the dressing room.
“It happens quite a lot now, especially in the lower league there seems to have been a lot of players released from a lot of clubs and it’s part of football,” he said.
“Lads are always going to move on but if we can get some fresh faces in that are going to help us improve and be better then great.”