Nicky Adams prepared for another tough Keith Curle pre-season
For virtually all of the Cobblers squad, a Keith Curle pre-season is going to be a new experience - but that's not the case for Nicky Adams.
The Town boss this week warned the players that the next six weeks are going to be 'demanding' and 'a challenge, both physically and mentally' as he aims to get them into prime shape ahead of the Sky Bet League Two season opener against Walsall on August 3.
Every manager goes about their pre-season planning in their own way, but it does seem as though Curle could be in the 'hard taskmaster' bracket, and that is something that Adams is quick to confirm.
The 32-year-old has been through two Curle pre-seasons while at Carlisle United, so knows exactly what to expect in the coming weeks
One thing the Town boss has promised is that the footballs will be out nice and early, and although Adams also confirmed this, he added: "There is a bit of disguised running with those footballs!
"The pre-season (under Curle) is tough, but when I worked with him before we were really fit and that takes you a long way over the season because you get that that base fitness.
"Look, Keith likes to play, he wants the team to be exciting and attacking, but you have to be able to run as well. So pre-season is going to be tough, but you need it.
"You can tailor it down over the season, and get your rest when you need to in the week, but you need to get ready and make sure you are in top physical condition."
The players all reported back to the PTS Academy Stadium last Wednesday morning.
With nine new players getting on board,Curle hosted a welcome meeting at the stadium, where the players were introduced to all the key office and coaching staff at the club.
The new players also had to stand up and talk about themselves, as well as recite a funny story or tell a joke.
Again, Adams knew what to expect, and he believes it is all part of engendering the team spirit the Cobblers are going to need if they are going to challenge for promotion this season.
"I have done it before, so I knew it was coming," said Adams.
"It is just a bit of an ice-breaker, everybody has a laugh and a giggle and now we can just go and speak to each other, because there are quite a few new faces.
"We have obviously played against each other, but we are going to spend the next 10 months together every day, and you are like family really.
"So I think getting that togetherness on and off the pitch is massive, but there are some good lads in there."
So is it easy for a player when he walks into a new changing room?
"I am experienced, but it is never easy," said the former Bury playmaker. "Those initiation songs you have to do are never nice, and I hate it!
"But like I say, it is a laugh and a giggle, and is part and parcel of it all.
"There are going to be hard times this season, and if you get that togetherness right off the field, then you end up looking after each other, so it is all good."