Nicky Deverdics was thrilled to discover Pools will be hosting his former club, Dover Athletic, on the opening day of the new campaign – but admitted it may still be a trip in to the unknown.
The midfielder joined Pools from the Kent outfit last summer and even spent a spell back on loan at the Crabble Athletic Ground in February before returning to The Vic to play his part in the run-in.
However, Deverdics has said that such is the level of transfer business conducted by Whites’ boss Chris Kinnear, the side that lines up against Pools on Saturday 5th August will be almost unrecognisable to him.
“My first reaction is that I won’t know anybody!” laughed Deverdics, who scored 16 goals for Dover as they reached the National League play-offs in 2015/16.
“I knew a lot of the lads when I went back last season but for this year there has been a massive turnover of players and I think there are only three left - and of them I only know Connor Essam and Mitch Walker.
“It will be a strange because we’ll be coming up against Dover players but I won’t know them so it will be a bit different, to be honest!
“It’s a really good club though. Things went really well for me there so I have a massive affinity with Dover, along with the gaffer, Jake (Assistant Manager) and the rest of the staff who are still there.
“Some of the lads have been talking about wanting to get long trips like Dover out of the way early on in the season but obviously it’s gone the other way and they’ll be coming here so it’s one I will be looking forward to.”
Deverdics also admitted he was excited by the prospect of a trip to much-fancied Tranmere Rovers on the final day of the season - an afternoon he hopes could be one of celebration for Pools.
“That could be very interesting because it could mean something,” he commented.
“We have nothing in our minds but to push for promotion and get this Club back in to the League as soon as possible and I expect Tranmere to have a right go again too.
“Given all that, it’s a fixture that could definitely mean something at the end of the season so it’s definitely a bit fruity!
“All the lads have been talking about the fixtures coming out and now they are it adds another level of excitement to the preparations so we just all can’t wait to get going.”