BARRY Nicholson will bring plenty of experience into the Fleetwood Town squad next season, though plenty of his new team-mates have a lot to tell the midfielder about one footballing achievement he has never experienced.
Nicholson, who turns 34 next month, has never been part of a promotion-winning squad but he aims to put that right with the League Two newcomers.
And his first impressions of the Highbury set-up have convinced the former Aberdeen, Dunfermline and Preston stalwart that a sixth promotion in nine seasons is well within Town’s grasp.
Nicholson said: “I have been made extremely welcome. It’s a great group and a cracking dressing room, and I hope we will do well again.
“I’ve definitely come to help the club win another promotion. It’s something I haven’t been involved with throughout my career, but when the manager gave me his ideas it sounded great and I was keen to come.
“There are already some very good players here, and from the first few sessions with them and the first bit of football on Tuesday, I certainly know they are a very good team who will create plenty of chances.
“There are players here who should not be at this level and should be a bit higher.”
Nicholson was on of the 25 players involved in Town’s first pre-season friendly, a 1-0 defeat by Gateshead behind closed doors on Wednesday, and he felt it was a most useful exercise.
He added: “It was a good workout. We all said in the dressing room afterwards that we can play better but the manager was pretty pleased.
“All the new faces in the squad are still getting to know each other’s game, but the players already here have done exceptionally well to win promotion and we want to help them continue that and kick on.”
Nicholson’s signing was confirmed a week ago, after he had spent the week training with Town in Austria.
He explained: “It took a bit longer than expected with the paperwork, but I’m glad I went and got the training in with the lads. I got the call to go to Austria late on Saturday night, saying I would be flying out with the lads early on the Monday.”
One player he was delighted to meet up with at the airport was his old North End team-mate Jon Parkin, one of the three strikers so far signed by Town this summer.
Nicholson said: “I met up with Jon at the airport and roomed with him in Austria.
“It was good to catch up with the big man again. He is probably a very underrated footballer. People may think he is not the typical build, but there are things he can do on the park that are more than useful and I’m sure he can score a few goals for the club.”
The pair could team up again at Accrington tomorrow, when Town face a Blackburn XI in a high noon showdown.
Nicholson has been allocated shirt no.11 for the coming season. The full list of squad numbers is as follows:
1 Scott Davies 2 Shaun Beeley 3 Dean Howell 4. Anthony Barry 5 Steve McNulty 6 Nathan Pond 7 Danny Rose 8 Jamie Milligan 9 Jon Parkin 10 Lee Fowler 11 Barry Nicholson 12 Junior Brown 13 Alan Goodall 14 Andy Mangan 16 Chris Maxwell 17 Alex Titchiner 18 Jamie McGuire 19 Steven Gillespie 20 Damien Johnson 21 Jamie Allen 22 Liam Wynn 23 Kieran Charnock 24 Ryan Crowther 25 Rob Atkinson 29. Richie Allen 30 Danny Rowe