YOUL Mawene has seen it all in League football but admits the atmosphere around Fleetwood Town is something special as the day the club has long dreamed of draws ever nearer.
In two days’ time, Town make their bow as a Football League club when Torquay visit Highbury and veteran centre-half Mawene said: “This place is buzzing.”
The 33-year-old Frenchman was Town’s tenth summer signing and his since been joined by midfielder Gareth Kinsella, and although deal No.12 fell through yesterday the club continues to cast its net wide in a bid to ensure a successful debut season in League Two.
And everything he is seeing convinces Mawene, one of four former Preston players to have joined the Town ranks this summer, that all the building blocks for a solid season are firmly in place.
The defender said: “You can tell as you walk through the corridors. It’s a great stadium and there is a lot of work going on and planning going on, and it’s nice to be part of it.
“Hopefully we can build on the performance against Nottingham Forest and have a really good season.
Mawene was one of seven Town debutants in Monday’s mouthwatering Capital One Cup tie, which the Championship visitors won courtesy of a Dexter Blackstock strike early in the second half.
Mawene was delighted to be back on home soil in the North-West after spending the past two seasons in Greece (Panserraikos) and Scotland (Aberdeen), and he saw nothing but encouraging signs from Town’s display against the two-time European champions.
He added: “We started brightly and it’s a shame about the ten minutes early in the seond half, when we were on the back foot.
“They made changes at half-time and it was a different team in front of us. It took us ten minutes to readjust and by then they had put us under pressure and scored.”
But Mawene was impressed by the understanding forged among a back-four which included a second debutant in Dean Howell.
The defender who spent six seasons at Deepdale following four at Derby added: “They are top blokes and in the first half in particular we looked really solid. It’s a shame that there was a bit of a misunderstanding between Dean and myself for the goal, but I don’t want to hammer the boys or myself.
“There are just a few bits and bobs we can work on defensively to give our forwards a bit more time to get the goals.
“But the important thing is that we learn quickly and don’t repeat the same mistakes.
“There were a lot of positives and we need to go back to the drawing board and bounce straight back.”
And the Cod Army faithful could not have made him more welcome.
“The fans were superb. I’m grateful to be on board and grateful for their support,” he said.
Interview: DAVID MITCHELL