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Interviews

Bishop on pre-season, how the new faces have settled in, and friendlies

7 July 2017

Midfielder Neal Bishop is enjoying the challenge of pre-season, and says the new additions to the squad have settled in really well so far.

The 35-year-old knows goalkeeper Matt Gilks from his time at Blackpool, and has played a part alongside the rest of the squad in helping fellow newcomers Rory McArdle and Cameron Burgess settle in.

North Ferriby United are the first opposition of pre-season this Saturday, and Bishop told iFollow Iron there is nothing quite like a matchday.

ON PRE-SEASON SO FAR…
NB: It’s tough, but it has to be. There’s no point whingeing about it. If it’s not tough then you’re not doing it right. It’s been enjoyable, with the fresh faces bringing a different dynamic to the group. All three are good lads and have settled in really well. There are a lot of familiar faces from last season too, which helps. It’s been tough work, but good. We’re all enjoying it.

ON TRAINING SESSIONS AND SQUAD COMPETITION…
NB: It’s changed a lot. Lads are coming back in really good shape. You have to look after yourself out of season because people come back fitter than they were when they went away - well, that’s what it feels like! We have good professionals who have looked after themselves over the summer. It’s a good test and there’s competition in the squad. Everyone wants to be in the starting eleven for that first game, but we’re all pushing each other through. You’d think there will be a few more bodies coming in but we have the basis of a really good group here and the atmosphere has been great since day one.

Neal Bishop

ON THE NEW ADDITIONS SO FAR…
NB: I know Gillo (Matt Gilks) from Blackpool, I know what type of character he is, he’s a great lad and has settled in really well. He’ll be a big influence, while Rory (McArdle) has vast experience at this level and we’ve all seen what a good player he’s been over the last few seasons. Cameron (Burgess) has come in and settled well too. We have a good group and all the boys have welcomed the new lads in. They’ve settled in really well. It’s one of my jobs as one of the experienced ones to make sure they settle in. All three will be really good additions.

ON NORTH FERRIBY UNITED AWAY THIS SATURDAY…
NB: When you come back, from day one you’re looking for the games to start. The training is good, and hard too, but as footballers you want to play games. That’s the be all and end all, and what you’re judged on. It might just be 45 minutes but to be on the pitch can’t come around quickly enough.

ON RETURNING TO FORMER CLUB YORK IN A FRIENDLY NEXT WEEK…
NB: I’m looking forward to going back there. I’ve received a couple of messages and I’m remembered fondly enough. I had a really good time there, and was part of a good team that got to the play-offs in the Conference and just missed out unfortunately. It will be nice to get back there. Ten years on, there are still some old faces there. It’s the second game of pre-season and it will be good to get even more up to match speed.

See much more from Neal Bishop on iFollow Iron.


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