Shrewsbury Town’s new look squad are getting ready for their first pre-season friendly of the summer on Saturday.
Town are currently on a week-long warm weather training camp in Portugal and will face National League side Ebbsfleet United at the end of the week
“It will be a really good test for us for a first game”, admitted Paul.
“They’re a team that are investing a lot of money and signing some very good players already to add to what they already had.
“They might not be the biggest name or anything like that, but they’ve got some real investment and I don’t think they are satisfied about just getting into the conference.
“Having worked in the National League, there are some very good players and Ebbsfleet won’t be going into that league to make the numbers up.
“The manager’s signed a new five year deal, which is unheard of at that level, but I think it shows a commitment and their intention to kick-on and progress.”
A number of Town’s new signings will be set for their first run-out in blue and amber and Paul believes it will be a good way to end the tour.
“The first game is often about getting back to playing opposition and not just out on the training ground against your teammates, but it will be a real test”, said Hurst.
“I would have thought it would be their first game too and when you have that first game you always want to try and impress, so it will be a good end to the tour.
“That first game really signifies the start of our pre-season fixtures and the games come thick and fast then, so I think for the players it’s a bit of a watershed moment that they’ve reached that first game and they can look forward to that.”
With temperatures likely to top 30 degrees, the management staff will be monitoring the players closely and Paul admitted he doesn’t expect many players to play for more 45 minutes.
“In general most of the players will get 45 minutes”, said Paul.
“We might have to have one or two others play a bit longer and we still need to finalise the details as to the substitution allowance, but hopefully Ebbsfleet don’t mind doing exactly the same.
“There’s not three points at stake or a cup game, so hopefully common sense prevails on that and we might be able to run one or two on and off to make sure that we are looking after the players physically.
“Having said that, there’s an element that that is part of it. It’s a mental thing. I’m sure it will be very warm, but don’t give up before you’ve even started, let us monitor that and it should be a good game for us all.”