Sean McAllister enjoyed a well-deserved, relaxed break from football but is now raring to go for Scunthorpe’s new season in League One.Last campaign’s player of the season spent the month building up to pre-season cycling and running in order to maintain fitness.
He also described how sorting out his recent contract was a huge priority.
“It’s definitely good to get back,” he told The Iron Player.
“We had a great season last year and I can’t wait to get back into it and get the new season underway.
“It’s been tough, as you’d expect. Usually the first couple of weeks are about getting fitness levels up and staying fit - which I’ve managed to do so far. Now the games are starting it’s time to get that match sharpness back.”
The combative midfielder claims him and his teammates are “looking really good both mentally and physically”, with just the one injury so far.
“It’s obviously very disappointing as David Mirfin was a big part of last season’s success, but I think it’s better that he’s had the operation now and will only miss about a month of the season.
"Other than that, everyone else is looking well so far and we’re all just looking to get as many minutes under our belts as possible."
Scunthorpe face both Lincoln City and Carlton Town simultaneously on Tuesday evening - the former being a fixture in the Lincolnshire Cup, adding a bit of extra spice to the friendly.
McAllister describes this encounter as a ‘step up’ from the Gainsborough and Bottesford games, something he believes the squad needs in order to prepare for the upcoming campaign.
“Hopefully it’ll be a good run out,” said the 26-year-old.
“Lincoln is a big club that has been in the professional leagues, making it the most difficult fixture in the schedule so far. We then have Huddersfield which is a tougher test yet again.
“Results are important at this point as it can create a winning mentality, but it’s mostly about getting that match practice and trying to stay fit.”
McAllister played in the first half of the Iron’s 2-1 victory against Gainsborough last week. He had this to say about the match: “Sometimes as a player you make runs just to try and get some momentum back in your legs and I think I did that well last weekend. It was another 45 minutes and some more match experience. We were comfortable and won the half 2-0 so I was happy with my contribution.”
This particular match up was on last year’s preseason schedule, and in spite of the promotion and shift in managers, McAllister does not think the squad has changed too much since then.
He said: "We’ve managed to keep the core of that squad together which is important. Getting everyone signed up to new deals was essential and thankfully most have done so. Obviously going into a new league is tough, and we have to step it up again and be that little bit better.
“However, pre-season is pre-season – you get out what you put in, so it’s vital everyone stays fit and gets as much of a workout as possible in order to be ready for that first game.”
Russ Wilcox has strengthened his side with the summer additions of Lyle Taylor, Neal Bishop and Jennison Myrie-Williams, all of which have fitted in to United’s dressing room really well according to McAllister.
He said: “You can tell they’ve got quality on top of experience at League One level so I think it’s exactly what we needed.”
The squad’s overall aims for the 2014/15 campaign have not yet been discussed at length, although “everyone knows what to expect from each other and what targets have been set,” says the central midfielder.
“We’re a good unit and we believe we can do some good things here," he stated.
Off the back of such a successful season for the former Cowdenbeath man, he has set his sights on cementing his place in the first team once again, while getting as many games as he can and being successful at League One level.
See much more from Sean McAllister, Neal Bishop and Russ Wilcox on The Iron Player.