Colchester United step up their pre-season build-up this weekend, with a game against Gillingham on Saturday.
After two weeks of training at Florence Park, the U's first fixture sees League one side Gills provide the opposition for Steve Ball and the squad.
And the new Head Coach admitted that there will be two major aspects he will be trying to take from the early games.
First though, he spoke to the official website about how much he is looking forward to them.
He said: "Training is fantastic for getting your thoughts over to the players and working on everything you want to see happening, but it's the games that give the players the chance to put that all into practice."
"I can't wait to get started on the games with Saturday's test - and I'm sure it will be a test.
"It's early in pre-season, so part of the exercise will be to make sure the lads are getting good fitness work out of the games and getting more minutes from game to game to build up that fitness.
"Normally, we have used games against local teams to bed into the pre-season matches, but we're going straight into league opposition this year.
"We start our competitive matches on the first weekend in September, which is only three weeks away, so I'm looking already at every player and how they're performing rather than just how their fitness levels are.
"Hopefuly,they are looking forward to the games as much as I am - we want to be firing on all cylinders from the off in September."
The game on Saturday is available to watch via a live stream, as is the match against Ipswich Town on Tuesday.
For details of how to access the live stream, click HERE.