Head Coach itching to get started.
Colchester United Head Coach John McGreal is full of optimism ahead of the players returning to pre-season training next week.
Having seen the 2016/17 fixture list on Wednesday, John is keen to get his teeth into working with the U's squad ahead of the first game of the campaign away to Hartlepool United.
He told the official website: "It is a good start for us.
"It's a long trip on the opening day but it gets it out of the way for us before we then welcome back Joe Dunne in what should be a match well supported by both sets of supporters.
"It's a new division and a new beginning for us, but I think those two matches will provide a good benchmark for us.
"Cambridge weren't far away last season and just missed out on the play-offs. Hartlepool were picking up and finished on the front foot, so they've turned things around and will be positive going into the new season."
The U's were also paired with Brighton & Hove Albion in the EFL Cup and it will be a first visit for the club to the Seagulls' new stadium.
"That's a really great cup tie for us," John added.
"We've tended to miss the good draws in the cup as a rule, so this is one I think will be a positive tie for all concerned.
"They just missed out on the Premier League, but I think there will still be a feelgood factor about the place and it's an exciting cup draw."
The players will return to training next Tuesday and, having observed the final game against Rochdale last season, John is ready to work more closely with the players ahead of the season getting underway.
He said: "I'm really looking forward to it. I've just had a few days with the family ahead of the hard work starting. The boys are in from Tuesday and I'm really looking forward to a new beginning and a new start.
"I've spoken to a few of the boys and the lads have been coming in for sessions at the training ground with Stef, and it appears they are all fit and ready to go, so there's a lot of optimism."
Having got Luke Prosser signed up on Tuesday, John is also keen to make further additions.
"Luke is a big plus for us after our defensive record and gives us good competition in those areas," he added.
"I'm hoping to get more over the line and we will be in good shape for the new season."