James O’Connor feels refreshed after his summer break and is ready to go for pre-season.
The Saddlers’ first-team squad are reporting back for training at Essington this week as preparations begin for the new 2017/18 campaign.
And after almost two months without any football, O’Connor is looking forward to getting back into the day-to-day routine.
“Physically and mentally, I feel ready to go now,” said the experienced defender.
“It was nice to have some time off and spend time with the family. It gives you a chance to recover after a tough season.
“We finished last season quite early so it has felt like quite a long break, and after a while you start to get itchy feet.
“You miss the day-in day-out of going out on the training field and playing, and you looking forward to games again.”
The Saddlers have two home pre-season friendlies in July, against Championship side Aston Villa on Tuesday 18th and Premier League outfit West Brom on Wednesday 26th.
And O’Connor, who started his career with the Villans, is looking forward to testing himself against higher-league opposition.
“They’re good fixtures for the supporters and players alike, as you want to test yourself against teams in a higher league,” said O’Connor.
“Both teams bring a good following and it’s always a good atmosphere at the Banks’s.
“After a break like we’ve had, you look forward to getting back into a game situation, but ultimately it’s all about preparing for that first game of the league season.”