Hancox relieved to get over the first pre-season run
There was only one thing putting Mitch Hancox off his return to pre-season training - the first run.
The 24-year-old signed last week from Macclesfield Town and met his new team-mates for the first time this week as the team returned for testing.
But while the sun was out and he was excited to get back out on the training pitch with his new club, Hancox admitted he delighted to see the balls out on field so early.
He said: "We had a bit of a run this morning, some conditioning sprints but I'm happy the ball came out early - getting our touch back, shaking off the rustiness and learning what the gaffer wants. The sun is nice but hopefully it goes soon!
"For me, it's about getting over the first run. I was in for testing this week, getting to know people and that was nice, but the work starts when you go on that first run! We've done that now, it's in the bank, but we just want the games to come around.
"Last season was great for me at Macclesfield, but coming in today, meeting the players and staff, there's a real buzz around. We want to start the new season now really!"
Manager Paul Tisdale, speaking to the media on Thursday, said it was important for his players to be patient in pre-season to ensure they are fit in time for the new campaign. And Hancox echoed his sentiments, admitting he let his hair down during the summer after winning the league with the Silkmen.
He said: "It was a long season for me, but I had a few weeks off and once I came back from my holiday, I knew I had to get back fit, so I was back in the gym. I didn't go crazy because it's important to rest, but we've still got five or six weeks before the start of the season.
"The gaffer has stressed that he doesn't want us fit for the first friendly, but the first game of the season. So far he has been brilliant and he has said all the right things to me. There's an aura about him, he really wants to do well. He has had success in this league - it's a shame what happened to him in the last two seasons - and with that experience and the lads wanting to do well, it's recipe for success. His backroom staff seem really sound too."
Having played two divisions below Dons last season, some may be unfamiliar with Hancox's attributes, and he was eager to tell fans what to expect of him.
"Fans can expect an enthusiastic and hard-working player," he said. "I work very hard and I always give everything. If I'm having a bad game, I'll make sure I'm grafting. I play on the left-hand side, whether that's left back, left wing-back or left wing. I can do a job in the centre of midfield too.
"I like to score goals, I got seven last season, but I like to be creative and get balls into the box and push forward. I like people to be on my level, and if they're not I get after them."