Nathan Pond admits he has had little time to reflect on the glorious end to his testimonial season as Fleetwood Town’s preparations for League One continue in Austria.
The centre-half, who played in yesterday’s 3-2 defeat by Russian top-flight side Terek Grozney, was part of the Fleetwood team that beat Burton Albion 1-0 at Wembley to secure promotion through the play-offs.
And he admits the season couldn’t have had a better ending, even if it cut his summer break short.
“It was brilliant, and in my testimonial season,” said the Fleetwood Town stalwart. “That ended really well. It doesn’t feel like we’ve really had time off – it was only four or five weeks.
“The lads did it on the day and the memories will stay with me for a lifetime.”
Pond is starting his 11th season at Highbury and is taking part in his fourth pre-season trip to the Austrian Tyrol.
And by now the 29-year-old knows what to expect. He told The Gazette: “Every one of the trips to Austria has been hard work and I’m not expecting this one to be any different.”
There have been plenty of early starts for the Fleetwood boys in Obertraun but Pond insists it’s all worth it.
“There’s the early morning run,” he chuckled.
“That’s certainly not been easy but you’ve got to get up every day and do it.
“Then the football sessions every day have been really good.”
And as the elder statesman of the camp, certainly in terms of seasons under his belt, Pond has played a key role in welcoming Keith Southern, Danny Andrew and Jamie Proctor to the club.
He added:”The new lads have settled in fine. But it’s an easy group to settle into.
“All of us are very welcoming, there’s good banter and we all get on with each other.”
“I’ve been here a long time but all the new boys have fitted in very easily. We’re all getting along.”