Tyrone Feeling Sharper Ahead Of Drayton GameTown striker Tyrone Barnett believes a full pre-season under his belt is the perfect preparation for Town’s League One campaign, and has a figure in mind when it comes to setting himself a goal target.
The former Peterborough forward joined the Shrews on the last day of the January transfer window helped Micky Mellon’s side achieve automatic promotion, contributing four goals in the process.
And with Town’s first pre-season fixture on Saturday against Market Drayton Town in the Shropshire Senior Cup, Barnett feels he is already in better condition than he was this time in January.
“Skitty (Head Physio Chris Skitt) and Hodgy (Fitness Coach Andy Hodgen) were saying how they can’t wait to get a pre-season out of me to maximise my ability,” said Barnett.
“They’re very professional about it and very specific to the players needs and so far so good.
“They’ve seen me come here last season and then they’ve seen me pre-season and they’re saying I’m looking sharper already, which is always good to hear so hopefully I can maintain that sharpness.”
29-year-old Barnett has been enjoying getting back to football after a summer off and believes every pre-season game, no matter who the opposition, is an opportunity to be ready for when the season kicks off on August 8th.
“All the pre-season games are good,” insists Barnett. “The lads get to know how each other plays, especially the new lads. It gets games under your belts because nothing matches game fitness so it will be good to get a few minutes.
“There are some great pre-season friendlies that are good for the fans and good for the players and I’m looking forward to them.
“I don’t think any professional takes any friendly game lightly so we will be professional when we go to play them and if there’s a bit of silverware then happy days.”
Barnett, who was notified of his April Goal of the Month award for his sensational strike against Exeter City this morning, admits he is enjoying his time in Shropshire and feels he is more than capable of scoring goals in League One.
“It’s nice to get an award for doing what I feel like I’ve been brought in for so it was nice to get that,” said Barnett when presented with his award.
“Hopefully I can get a few more spectacular ones and not so spectacular ones again.
“15 plus would be a good start for me.
“Since day one I’ve enjoyed it here. Obviously getting promoted and helping the lads push on to get what they’ve worked for all season was really enjoyable.
“I love my job. I love coming to play football and that’s why I smile a lot.”
On his partnership with last season’s top-scorer James Collins, former Crawley man Barnett feels his strike partner has set the standard, something he hopes to emulate, especially with his experience of League One.
“He had a great goal scoring record last year so hopefully, with getting a good pre-season under our belt, I can get up to those standards and kick on from there,” added Barnett.
“I’d say it’s (League One) a bit different. You’re playing with and against better players is the overall thing. It’s still football at the end of the day and if you do what the gaffer wants you to do it’s a relatively simple game. But footballs football and you never know what’s going to happen.
“If every one of us has a good start to the season hopefully that will give us a good platform to build and then who knows what could happen.”
Micky Mellon has seen a steady squad reshuffle over the summer, with over half-a-dozen players coming in to what was already a competitive squad and Barnett believes they’ve got what it takes to leave their mark in League One.
“They’ve played at different professional clubs and they bring something different and they’re a great bunch of lads. The gaffer knows how to pick a good lad so they’re all fitting in well and it’s nice to get to know them.
“Everyone’s looking forward to the challenge. It’s going to be different to league two if some of them have only played in League Two but a lot of players have had experience at this level so hopefully they can learn from what they’ve got and bring something to the table.
“The gaffer’s told us to take it not even a game at a time but 45-minutes at a time and I think if we can keep that focus and try to produce what the gaffer wants us to produce and focus on everything that we need to do to win a game of football.
“I think if we take it a game at a time then towards the end of the season we can really see what we can aim for. I think that’s the right way to look at it.”