What a difference a summer has made for Peterhead.
Defender Jason Brown believes co-managers Jordon Brown and Ryan Strachan have completely transformed the atmosphere at the club following relegation from League One last season.
An overhaul of the squad by the two bosses has instilled fresh believe at Balmoor Stadium.
Defender Brown said: “Where we left the club last season and where we are now feels like two completely different places.
“We’ve recruited a good bunch of lads and the atmosphere has completely switched.
“We’re now focused on what’s going forward and definitely not looking back.
“Pre-season has been good. It’s been hard with five games in total. We’ve got a lot of minutes in the legs and that’s what the gaffers wanted.
“They felt the more games we played the better it would be for everyone gelling together and we’re now finding a way to play together.
“It’s early days, but it has been good and we feel we’ve given ourselves something to build on in the weeks ahead.”
Competition for places is fierce at Balmoor
Brown points to the increased competition for places and the strength in depth at the club as cause for optimism ahead of the new campaign.
The defender believes his co-managers will face some difficult decisions in the new campaign with so many players eager to be in the starting line-up.
He said: “In the last couple of years when I’ve been at Peterhead, we’ve probably lacked real depth and I think last season was a year too far for us.
“We didn’t have the ability to switch it up, but this year is completely different. We’ve got 21 boys signed up and everyone can play and will want to play.
“It will give the managers some tough decisions to make – but that’s what you want.
“It’s been laid out since day one that people won’t be happy with some of the decisions made at points during the season.
“But we need to realise why we’re here and what the aim is. We’ll all have a part to play and hopefully that can push all of us to be the best we can be.
Blue Toon buoyed by midweek showing at Cove Rangers
Pre-season has been promising for the Blue Toon, with the display in Tuesday’s 1-1 draw at League One side Cove Rangers another encouraging step forward for the club.
Brown said: “The managers wanted to test the players in different challenges we might find ourselves in during the season.
“We have played games where we’ve had a lot of the ball and others where we didn’t see much of it.
“Every team we’ve played has thrown up a different challenge, one we will face at some point this season and we feel as ready as we can be.
“It’s still so early in our season and as part-time players we’ve only been back a couple of weeks.
“Cove are a full-time team in League One and we went there and dominated the ball, so we can take confidence from that.”
Peterhead ready for Partick cup test
Following a run of friendlies, the competitive action gets under way on Saturday when Peterhead welcome Championship side Partick Thistle to Balmoor for their first game of the Viaplay Cup group stage.
The Jags missed out on promotion to the Premiership after losing a penalty shoot-out to Ross County in the play-off final, but Brown believes he and his team-mates can go into their opener with confidence.
He said: “We know how good our squad is and with the mixture we’ve got there is no reason why we should be scared to take on Partick Thistle.
“This is a completely new team and there’s a buzz about the place. Why can’t we start well and give it a go?
“We know we’re far from the finished article and not where we hope to be when the league campaign starts, but Saturday will be a good chance to see where we’re at.”