Brad Walker has said seeing the fixtures for the new season being released has further whetted his appetite to return for training and kick-on during 2015/16.
Pools have been handed a home game on the opening weekend of the new campaign when they will host Jim Bentley’s Morecambe outfit at Victoria Park on Saturday 8th August.
And young midfield star Walker says that it’s a fixture which brings back some happy memories for him – and he hopes it can help inspire Pools to victory over The Shrimps.
“When I saw that we were playing Morecambe at home I instantly thought back to the other season when we got that brilliant result against them at The Vic,” he told us.
“It’s great that we are playing at home in the first game because we’ve signed quite a lot of new players already so I can’t wait to meet them in pre-season and then hopefully get off to a good start.
“We didn’t do well in the opening months last season but a good start can be massive for us this time around and hopefully a home game with our fans right behind us can help us do that.”
Pools fans will spend plenty of time on the road this season given the epic travelling distances involved with following the Club in a largely southern-based division.
However, the shortest trip of the season is up first and Walker is hopeful that Pools can take another bumper following to York City on the second weekend of the new campaign.
“Whenever I think about playing at York it almost feels like a home game to me because of the followings we’ve had there in the last two seasons.
“It was class seeing them all packed in behind the goal and down the side of the pitch so the atmosphere is bound to be brilliant again with it being the first league away game.
“I immediately checked the list to find out when we were playing the likes of Yeovil and Bristol Rovers because we have got a lot of travelling to do obviously.
“I don’t mind it too much because I can have a bit of banter with the lads or get a game of cards going and we all know that travelling is part and parcel of the game – especially with where we are based!
“One thing that is good is that we have a home game on Boxing Day this year which will mean that the players can spend just a little more time with their families.
“Plus, the atmosphere at games over the Christmas period is always a bit special so to play in front of our own fans at that time of year is something to really look forward to.”
Pools fans have become famous across this country and beyond for their fancy dress tradition on the final away day of the season and for the second time in three seasons they face a trip to Plymouth Argyle.
It’s a round-trip of almost 800 miles and Walker says it will be worth it for the players and the fans if they can get a meaningful result to round off the season at Home Park.
“Last time we played at Plymouth in our final away game was at the end of the 2013/14 season and we travelled down on my 18th birthday!” he laughed.
“That wasn’t the best gift to spend nine hours on a bus but with it being the last game again this year I am looking forward to seeing what fancy dress theme our fans choose!
“And I hope that the journey home from Plymouth next May can be as boisterous as the one back from Carlisle at the end of last season – but this time because we’re celebrating a promotion!”
Walker and his team-mates will resume training on Monday 29th June and although he knows that there is plenty of hard work ahead, he can’t wait to get his teeth in to it.
After taking some time to relax and enjoy the summer, the 19-year-old has been ensuring he keeps his fitness high during the break so he can keep up when the annual running workouts begin!
“I have done quite a bit of work already during the summer and I can’t wait to be back.
“I am dreading all the running work – I was saying to Scott Harrison the other day that it will be more like Hartlepool Running Club for the first month and then after that we can think about being a Football Club again!
“But we know it’s something we have to do and once it is out of the way and we can get back to the football it will be brilliant and I can’t wait for the season to start now.”