Manager Shaun Derry has told his squad’s young players to follow the example of Jeremy Balmy, who has resurrected his Notts County career through sheer hard work.
When Derry arrived in November 2013, Balmy’s time with the club looked set to come to an end when his contract expired.
Following private talks with the gaffer, the Frenchman knuckled down to meet the demands that are set of the Magpies squad and earned himself a new deal at Meadow Lane.
Balmy has returned for pre-season in great shape and has been one of the team’s standout performers in the build-up to the new campaign.
Derry wants to see further progress from his players in the upcoming friendlies against Carlton Town, Halifax Town, Birmingham City and CA Osasuna - just like he has seen in the former Le Havre forward.
“There’s a lot of improvements to be made and if you just look at the average age group of our squad - it’s young and we want them to get better,” he said.
“If you’re looking at improvements I don’t think you can look to further than Jeremy Balmy.
“When I first came in, Jeremy was absolutely nowhere near the team - nowhere near it - and he’s stuck at it.
“He’s got his head down and he’s worked hard and he’s had a former England manager in Steve McClaren put his arm around him and say well done.
“I tell you what, if I’m a 19 or 20-year-old and an England manager was to come up to me and say well done, it’d make me feel seven feet tall.”
He added: “He’s been here for a year and he’s understood what me and Greg [Abbott] want to work off the ball.
“Perhaps he didn’t do that at times last year, which is why he wasn’t involved.
“He’s come back and he’s proved that he wants to be involved so he’s working harder, and it’s unbelievable what you can achieve.”
Notts are in action again on Tuesday night against Carlton Town. For full ticket details, click here.