Striker looking forward to the start of the new campaign
Grecians striker Tom Nichols feels that the mood in the camp is a positive one, ahead of the start of the pre-season preparations for 2014/15.
Plenty of players have been taking the opportunity to keep their fitness levels up at the Cat & Fiddle this summer ahead of the start of pre-season next week, and spirits are high in the camp.
“I’ve seen a few fans on social media that are all doom and gloom, and think that we’re not going to do well,” said Tom.
“But we’ve all got a really good feeling about this season. We all know each other – we all played last year, the younger players got more experience, and we have a good bed of older players.
“So I think we’re going to do fine. A lot of us came through the youth together, and I think we’ll have a good season.”
The core of the squad that finished the season with back-to-back wins and clean-sheets against Scunthorpe and Hartlepool are still on the books at Exeter City.
So Nichols is confident that the close-knit nature of the current crop will stand them in good stead for the year ahead.
“With all due to respect to the players that have left, a lot of them weren’t always in the starting XI,” continued Tom.
“We’ve kept most of our starting XI and the young players that are coming through are good players that can fit straight in, as you saw at Hartlepool.”
Nichols trebled his number of first-team appearances last season by featuring 29 times, and netted six goals in his breakthrough campaign.
Now his target is to nail down a regular starting berth, as well as hoping to contribute by hitting the net on a few more occasions too.
He continued: “I’m a lot closer to the first team, whereas this time last year I was still trying to prove myself as I hadn’t had a great year. But the manager still gave me a contract, and I was really just trying to get a career.
“I played nearly 30 games last year, so I’m hoping to better that. That’s my aim – to play more games than I did last year.
“And as a striker, I’m also aiming to score a lot more goals too and to double my tally for the season.”
Click here to watch the full interview on Grecian Player, where Tom talks about getting ready for next season, his personal ambitions, steering clear of pizza and picks a winner of the 2014 World Cup.