HAVING missed one promotion campaign with Fleetwood Town, Anthony Barry is intent on playing his part in another in 2012-13.
A knee injury ruled the 26-year-old midfielder out of action for almost the whole of last season, but no Town player is more determined to be on the Highbury pitch for the newest Football League club’s mouthwatering opener at home to Nottingham Forest in the Capital One Cup.
It’s been an arduous road to recovery for the Liverpudlian, who sustained the injury in the first home game of last season against Darlington, having played 50 games in the previous campaign. But the rewards for all his hard work are finally in sight.
Barry said: “I’ve had no summer off. I’ve been down at Lilleshall training for six or seven weeks and the injury has come on a lot. I’ve made massive progress over the summer but there’s still a lot of work to be done.
“Being fit for the start of the season is still the aim and hopefully I’ll be walking out with the lads for the first game.
“But I’ll be doing stuff away from the lads early in pre-season and getting myself right on my own. Joining in with the boys doesn’t matter as long as I’m ready to go on the first day.
“When you are injured and miss all season your career stagnates, but I’ve managed to gain a promotion, so in a way it was still a successful season. Now I’m looking to gain another promotion.”
And with the signings Town have made he has no douts they can do it.
Barry added: “The Football League is where we all want to be but we won’t rest on our laurels. The aim is League One and the job is starting again. Promotion is the aim.
“We are not here just to exist. We are here to win it and we have brought players in to win it.
“We have experience with Jon Parkin and Damien Johnson, who is a great lad and a great pro. I’m looking to form a partnership with him, and with Lee Fowler, Jamie McGuire and Danny Rose too we have a midfield to drive the team forward.”
Barry is particularly looking forward to the fixtures against his first club Accrington Stanley and Rochdale, now managed by his former Stanley boss John Coleman.
The midfielder is delighted with the fixture list, particularly the glamour tie with Forest on August 13.
He added: “We couldn’t have asked for a better start. We’ll play Forest with no fear. Obviously no-one will expect us do anything (against them) but no-one expected us to beat Yeovil (another of his former clubs) and Wycombe last season. We want to prove we are League One players.”
Interview by DAVID MITCHELL