Cobblers boss Dean Austin admits he can’t wait for pre-season to start, so he can get away from sitting in his office and ‘having to answer the phone all the time’.
The Town manager has been back at work for almost two weeks now as he puts the finishing touches to the pre-season schedule, his first as the man in charge.
Although things have appeared to be all quiet at the PTS Academy Stadium over the summer months, there has been plenty going on behind the scenes, with Austin at the hub of most of it.
The former Tottenham Hotspur defender enjoyed a holiday away with his family once the season had finished in May, but he admits he is somebody ‘who never switches off’.
Now he is the manager, earning a two-year deal from Town chairman Kelvin Thomas after impressing in a five-match caretaker spell following Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink’s sacking, Austin’s workload has increased, in terms of being the man everybody has to talk to.
It has meant a busy summer of talks, negotiations, meetings and phone calls, but the Town boss admits he is now desperate to get back out on the training pitches and get down the work that matters.
I was putting things together anyway under the previous manager. Although he would be saying certain things, that he wanted this, that and the other, I had my own pre-season planned, and I had my own views of what I feel we need out of it as a groupCobblers boss Dean Austin
The Cobblers players return for pre-season training on Monday, and Austin admitted: “I am looking forward to pre-season starting.
“Then instead of sitting in my office and twiddling my thumbs and having to answer the phone all the time, I can get out on the grass and start training again.”
This pre-season will be Austin’s first as a manager, but he isn’t fazed by that particular challenge – revealing that preparing the schedule was his responsibility under Hasselbaink anyway.
“I was putting things together anyway under the previous manager,” said Austin.
“Although he would be saying certain things, that he wanted this, that and the other, I had my own pre-season planned, and I had my own views of what I feel we need out of it as a group.
“What we need out of it in terms of how many sessions we have, and how many games we have, and that plan has never really changed.
“I have had a couple of chats with Pablo (Garcia, fitness coach), and we have sort of manoeuvred one or two bits and pieces around to make sure the boys are getting the right things at the right times in terms of training and recovery.
“But that’s quite an easy thing to do to be honest, the hard bit will be getting the right games in at the right time.”
As it stands, the Cobblers have announced four pre-season friendlies, but more are in the pipeline and will be announced shortly.
The opening friendly will be on Tuesday, July 3 (ko 7.45pm), when Town travel to UCL Division One side Sileby Rangers.