Cobblers playmaker Nicky Adams can’t wait to test himself against higher level opposition in two tough pre-season friendlies at the PTS Academy Stadium this week.
It’s a Sheffield double header for Keith Curle’s men, with Championship outfit Wednesday coming to town on Tuesday night (ko 7.30pm) and then Chris Wilder’s United, who will be playing in the Premier League this season, the visitors on Saturday.
The matches come after a couple of tough games played during last week’s training camp in Spain, with the Cobblers drawing 3-3 with Bournemouth Under-23s and 1-1 with Sky Bet League One side Coventry City.
They were certainly a massive step up from the opening pre-season stroll against town UCL side Sileby Rangers, and Adams is anticipating another step up again as they face the Steel City giants.
“Sheffield Wednesday and Sheffield United are two really good teams, and the games will be good tests for us,” said the former Bury man.
“It’s good when you play the non-League teams, but you would rather play teams in a higher league because you get more of a workout.
“It is harder, but you can see where you are at.”
Tuesday’s game will be the first opportunity for home fans to see some of the 11 new faces that have been signed over the summer.
Adams is one of those, and he says things have gone really well over the first three weeks of pre-season.
“There has been a lot of change, and a lot of new players come in as well as the lads who are here from last season,” said the 32-year-old.
“You look through the squad and there are some good, experienced lads, and it’s really positive as we have some really good players, and things are gelling well on and off the pitch as well.
“We will work on the shape and team over the next couple of weeks, and we will be ready to go against Walsall (in the league on August 3).
“I think everyone is excited and just wants to get going now.
“The friendlies are good, but you just want to get as fit as you can and be ready for that first game.”
The Owls travel to the PTS in something of a crisis following Steve Bruce’s apparent decision to resign as manager on Monday.
It has been widely reported that Bruce as quit and is set to take over at Newcastle United, although nothing has been officially confirmed as yet.
It seems certain he has gone though, and the timing of his departure is far from ideal for the Hillsborough club, with the new EFL season under three weeks away.