BRIDPORT manager Adam Fricker is itching to begin pre-season training tonight ahead of a campaign which he hopes will “cement” the club in the Toolstation Western League Premier Division.

Fricker also revealed to Echosport that he is set to have a number of “meaningful conversations” with players at the first session to secure their place at the club next term.

He said: “I can’t wait to get going really. It’s always a difficult stage of the season with other clubs talking to our players – we can’t get 100 per cent commitment from everyone.

“For us, once we get a few players signed on and committed it does take the heat off a little bit.

“We’re expecting everyone to be back and then our intentions are to have some more meaningful conversations to get things tied up.

“I’m pretty sure the majority of the lads will be signing without any issues.

“I think this year there’s more expectation on us, we had the honeymoon period last year but we’re really looking to cement ourselves in the Premier and have a more successful season.”

Pre-season is a notoriously uncomfortable time for footballers but Fricker admitted his players are eager to return to training.

“We have got a little WhatsApp group, there’s a bit of banter on there! Once we get back into it and get all the lads together again for us we’ve got to focus them and make it enjoyable as well, getting that balance.

“They are all quite keen to get back and get the first few sessions out of the way and get straight back into games really.

“We’ll try and do as much with the ball as we can. To a certain extent there’s no point running around the pitch for 20 laps,” he said.

Former Yeovil Town defender Paul Thorpe will join the coaching staff this season and Fricker is looking forward to the ex-Glover’s input.

He said: “Paul’s quite a laid back character, he commands respect with the history he’s had in the game. I think we’re looking for him to put his mark on the team as well.

“He’s got his opinions and he’s a crucial part of the management team. We’re looking for him on Thursday to put a session on and get his views on everything. I can then take a step back and have a word with the lads.”