FLEETWOOD Town’s Nathan Pond is recharging his batteries ahead of the biggest season of his career, but the ambitious defender is determined to climb higher yet.
The tenth season at Highbury for Town’s longest-serving player will also be the first ever in the Football League, for Pond and the club.
But after five promotions in the past eight seasons with Town, the 27-year-old, who has been part of the club’s phenomenal journey since their North West Counties League days, sees no reason why Fleetwood’s rise and rise should not continue beyond League Two.
Pond’s first goal, however, is to secure his place in Town’s team next season, and he is taking a final holiday before pre-season training begins on Thursday week.
Pond said: “Ten years have gone very quickly because we have always been successful. We’ve had plenty of promotions, and I’ve taken it in my stride.
“It was a main aim of mine to play in the Football League, and I’ve finally got to do it, so I am looking forward to a good season.
“My ambition is to play at as high a level as possible, and this is my first opportunity in the Football League, and hopefully we can progress up the leagues.”
A midfielder for most of his career, Pond reinvented himself as a centre-half last season, seizing a chance to become captain Steve McNulty’s partner in the heart of defence after injuries struck Rob Atkinson and Paul Linwood.
Pond, who made 34 league appearances last season, added: “I’m getting more used to playing centre-half game by game, and I still have a lot to learn in the position, but I thought I did well last season and I’ll be trying to keep my place in the side.
“I’m looking forward to pre-season and getting together with the new lads, as well as the old ones from last season.
“I don’t know any of the new lads personally, but Damien Johnson and Jon Parkin are high-profile players.”