With the dust now settling on Fixture Release Day, we asked Notts favourite Mike Edwards for his take on those draft fixtures..
So, it's Yeovil away up first. How did you react when you first saw that opener?
It's obviously one of our longer trips so we can prepare early and make sure we can prepare well for it. It is actually nice to get one of the longer ones out of the way early. The pitch should be nice there and it's one to look forward to. I know ex Notts player Francois Zoko has signed down there so it gives us a little bit more of a connection. I've seen him over the off-season with him still being local to Nottingham so I'll be giving him some banter and I'll drop him a text before the game!
When the fixtures come out what games to you particularly look for?
I'm pretty sure over my whole career I've always looked for the first game of the season. It's a fresh start, and you always want to know where you're at. I also look for the first home game, which is against Stevenage this year, which is always one I look forward to. It's great to get back out on the pitch at Meadow Lane in front of your home fans.
Would you prefer that first game to be at home, in front of the Magpies faithful?
I think you're always disappointed when the first game isn't at home, you obviously want to reintroduce yourself to the fans. But I do think this is a good time to play Yeovil, previously I've played down there in the winter and the pitch can get a little bit boggy so it will be good to get there early! So it is a good start, but I'd prefer it to be at Meadow Lane!
Any other fixtures you were looking out for?
I think almost all players look for the Christmas and New Year fixtures. I like to plan ahead, and it's great to see we are at home on Boxing Day and on New Years Eve. It means I can spend time with my family and not be away from them over that period which is always a boost, but you know it's always a slightly limited time but the home fixture means that my family can come and watch the game.
I always look for games against clubs I've once played for. It's nice to see old faces and hopefully put one over on them in the nicest way possible!
Apart from that, I always look out for any game that takes place around my birthday...
There are a couple of long Tuesday night trips chucked in there, including Exeter and Plymouth. How do you prepare for them as a player, and how does that affect you?
You know you're always going to have Tuesday night games and cup games too, but you just take them as they come. In this league, there are trips that are a little bit further. But when it comes to those games, you just need to build up right and prepare correctly. Now they are set in stone, it gives us the opportunity to do that as we know they are coming.
Finally... thoughts for the coming season?
I'm optimistic for the new season. We've made changes in the back room staff and in personnel, and I'm confident we will be making more positive signings. It's all about getting those foundations put in place and getting things right. Of course, every year you go out wanting to get promotion and win the league! But we need to get the basics right and that will reflect in our performances. That's exactly what the gaffer will do. We will get a solid base platform and build from it.