THE current Fleetwood Town set-up is an ocean apart from the one Nathan Pond joined eight seasons ago ... which is why he is desperate to get back on the pitch.
The 26-year-old is the next of Town’s long-term injury victims due back in action, and Pond received a massive boost on the comeback trail this week when he completed 45 minutes of a behind-closed-doors match against Burnley.
The ankle injury ended last season early for Town’s longest-serving player and summer surgery left him playing catch-up in the fitness stakes.
But now the midfielder or centre-half is raring to go again and would love to be involved in Saturday’s home game against Telford.
“It would be great to renew rivalry with Telford from our Unibond days,” says Pond, though this nostalgic encounter may come a little too soon for him.
The Unibond is now the Evo-Stik League and is among the levels Pond has passed through during his four-promotion journey with Town since 2004.
He’d love to be part of a fifth and those 45 minutes against Burnley were an important stepping stone.
“I’m made up to be back after a long rehabilitation,” he says.
“I stiffened up after the game and there was a bit of soreness in the ankle but nothing major.
“I have been working on my fitness with the physios for a few weeks and I’d like to play on Saturday, but my availability is down to the gaffer and his medical team.”
Even if he’s passed fit to play, Pond accepts it will be hard to break into a side which has won its last four games, scoring 14 goals in the process.
Pond added: “The most important thing is that there’s light at the end of the tunnel.
“I was gutted to miss the end of last season and the play-offs.
“I was right behind the other lads but I’m glad to be back. I’m involved again and enjoying every minute.”