Abu Ogogo's thoughts on the pre-season training
Last season’s Player of the Year Abu Ogogo says he is impressed by the quality of the new look Shrewsbury Town squad and is targeting an improved season in League One.
Ogogo, who swept the board at the end of season awards winning both Player of the Year and Players’ Player of the Year, says the seven new faces that have joined Micky Mellon’s squad have already shown what they can do in training.
And the midfielder admits he is pleased they are now team mates instead of on the opposition.
“It is exciting having some new faces and a few departures,” he told ShrewsWeb.
“I have played against most of these guys before so it is good to sit down and get to know them as people.
“The gaffer has done well bringing some good players in. They are League One established players.
“We know what qualities they bring from playing against them before and it is good to have them on your team rather than playing against them. You always need players like them in your team and now we have got more of them it can only help us.
“Louis Dodds scored against us home and away last season so he’s a good player and AJ Leitch-Smith looks sharp and lively so hopefully he will score plenty of goals for us this year.
“Last year was difficult but the gaffer has done his recruitment well and got more League One established players who know how to win games in this league so we will take each game as it comes and go from there.”
Ogogo scored three goals for Town for last season but he says he was disappointed with his return and wants to score more this time round.
“I want more assists and more goals,” he said.
“I scored three last year but considering the number of games I played I am quite disappointed with that so this season I would like to get on the scoresheet a bit more.
“But as long as the team gets more wins and we do better in the league that is all I am worrying about.
“I think the league is stronger because of the teams that have come down.
“MK Dons, Charlton and Bolton and the teams that were in the league like Millwall and Coventry so it is a very tough division but these are teams you want to play against and test yourself against.
The 26-year-old says he is pleased to be back on the training pitch despite the gruelling pre-season schedule.
Ogogo also says he can’t wait to get back into match action with the friendlies that have been planned.
“It is nice to be back. I enjoyed my summer but it is good to be back and training,” he said.
“The summer has flown by to be fair so I had to make sure I enjoyed it.
“It is always tough the first few days. We haven’t done much for six weeks so the first few days are always hard to get through but once you get through that you start to feel yourself getting fitter.
“First day back we did see the balls which is good. As footballers you want to get on the ball and it is a good way to keep fit as well. You can see the boys have got quality.
“You can train as much as you like but it is the matches where you get your form and match fitness. Playing games is what we love doing so the sooner it comes the better.”