Cobblers diary... Harry Smith on the importance of recovery time, team bonding, and claiming the head tennis title despite Dan Watson's skulduggery
The Cobblers are going through their training camp paces in Spain this week, and each day a player will give a little insight into what has been going in at the Pinatar Arena Complex in Murcia.
The team has been in Spain since Sunday evening, and on Wednesday had the luxury of a morning off before an evening training session and a head tennis competition...
Here, Cobblers summer signing Harry Smith gives his take on proceedings so far.
"The week is going really well here so far, these trips in pre-season are always really important for team bonding especially when you consider we've got a number of new lads in the group.
"To come out here and get the chance to know each other a bit more has been great, the younger lads have been able to mix in with the more senior players which is a positive.
"I've been on pre-season trips abroad before and they always set the season up for a good start so hopefully that's what we can do.
"The facilities have been excellent, I've been to Portugal before and obviously we're in Spain now and I'd say it's right up there with the best I've been to. The food has been excellent, there's a lot to keep us occupied in and around the hotel with pool tables, table tennis and the lads have got a cards school going as well so we're never bored here.
"After a session on Tuesday followed by a training game we had Wednesday morning off to recover.
"We had a bit of free time followed by a training session in the evening so that was nice after a tough day and it was good to get the legs moving again along with a bit of fun at the end.
"We finished the session with some head tennis. My team won!
"We had myself, Chris Lines, Joe Bunney, Jay Williams, Curtis Yebli and Jordan Turnbull. There was maybe a bit of cheating from Dan Watson (goalkeeper coach) and his team in the final but we got the win so that's all that mattered.
"Training has been nice and competitive. We've got the likes of myself and Vadaine Oliver who are your 'target man' strikers, then you've got Sam Hoskins with his pace and Andy Williams' finishing ability so between the four of us we feel we can combine really well once we get going this season.
"We've had a lot of new faces come in this summer so in terms of getting to know everyone we've all been in the same boat, but that has helped in a way as we're coming into a team who're getting to know each other together.
"Everyone's connected well at the same time at the start of pre-season and coming out here as cemented that.
"The games we've had so far have been vitally important to get minutes into the legs and we've got another one to prepare for this Friday.
"When you have the summer off from playing football it's all about getting the legs going again and finding your rhythm ready for the first game of the season.
"As well as the training, the rest and recovery periods have been just as important. When you're training in the climate we're currently in it can takes it's toll, so we're resting when we can and keeping hydrated so we're fresh and ready for each session."