Andy Taylor says moving to Blackpool 12 months ago worked out exactly how he had hoped.
Pool’s club captain signed on the dotted line at Bloomfield Road last July, turning down an offer to stay at Walsall.
Despite dropping down a division, the 31-year-old was always confident he was making the right move and that proved the case when the Seasiders clinched promotion at Wembley last term.
“It worked out pretty much how I had hoped really,” the left-back said. “I took a step down to play here, but I knew when I talked to the manager and had a look at the squad that we would have a really good chance of going back up.
“Obviously we did it the hard way but we got the right result in the end.
“Now we’re back in League One and it’s a case of not resting on our laurels, building and pushing on.”
Pre-season is now well under way and Taylor knows the players must put in the hard yards over the summer.
“There’s no easy way to get fit. There’s only one way to do it and that’s working hard,” he said. “The boys all look really strong, so it’s looking good.
“Pre-seasons are still as hard as they’ve ever been because there’s no magic pill to get you fit, you just have to put the work in.
“It has evolved from the old days, which was running up and down steps and doing long, stupid runs. Now it’s more football- related, which is all down to sports science.
“From day one you’re doing ball work, whereas in the past you might not see a ball for 10 days or two weeks. So it’s much better nowadays.”
Taylor missed Blackpool’s Wembley showpiece, having injured his hamstring in their play-off semi-final tie against Luton Town, but the defender insists the knock won’t be a concern for next season.
He added: “I’ve been doing my own work on my hamstring over the summer just to make sure everything is fine.
“It wasn’t a major concern at the time because it wasn’t a major injury.
“It was just the timing of it – doing it in the semi-final and then having only 10 days before the final, which meant it was always going to be a push to be fit.
“It’s a play-off final and you’ve worked your socks off all season to get there, so I had to give it a go.
“I knew it was going to be a long shot but I gave it a go. It pulled again and it obviously wasn’t right.”