Cameron King is ready to take the National League by storm in his second full season with FC Halifax Town.
The attacking midfielder showed glimpses of his talent last season having joined from King’s Lynn.
But the ex-Norwich youngster feels a full campaign in the fifth tier has left him in a strong position to show what he can do.
“At the start of last year I was just scrawny, although I’m not massive now,” he said. “But no-one knew what I was about.
“I certainly didn’t know what I was going to be about at this level.
“I sometimes felt out-of-place physically, and I knew where I had to work on.
“Jamie (Fullarton) brought me out of the side for a period of time, and I think the fans were confused. Maybe I wasn’t ready. I’d played a couple of games and still felt like I wasn’t comfortable.
“Some fans thought I played well, but this year I certainly feel I can give it a right go. I feel up to it physically, and I’m smarter, a year more experienced at this level, and know what it takes.
“Who knows what this year’s going to bring, but hopefully goals, assists and a lot of wins.”
King has liked what he’s seen from Town boss Pete Wild since his appointment two weeks ago.
“He’s certainly refreshing,” King said. “It’s been positive, he’s very professional, and I think he’s already got the lads’ respect.
“Even before the Ebbsfleet game, but that gave him even more respect.
“Obviously the fans want results, and we’ve given them that so far.
“Training’s been excellent, I really feel like we’ve benefited from it, even though it’s only been a couple of weeks.
“The boys have been sharp and everyone’s wanting to come in and get better every day, and that’s all you can ask.”
King has been impressed by Wild’s man management during his first fortnight at the helm.
“You can tell he’s going to have a great relationship with the players, him and Milly (Chris Millington), the assistant,” King said.
“Once you gain respect from the players, they’re going to want to work hard for you. And on the football side, he’s going to want us to play with freedom, he’s going to want us to be exciting, and that suits me down to a tee.
“So I’m really looking forward to this year and working with him, and hopefully both benefiting from the situation.”
King admits Wild and his squad are still getting used to each other.
He said: “It’s early days. I don’t think he would have known his starting 11 probably until a couple of days before the first game.
“So he’s still working out the players’ weaknesses and strengths. He said before the game on Saturday he wants me to shoot more, and that’s a part of my game I know I need to work on.
“I need to score goals this year, and I’ve got one already. I know it was the keeper’s mistake, but if you don’t shoot, you don’t score do you?
“So hopefully I can build on that and certainly get a few more.”
Nine new signings have arrived at the club over the summer, five of whom were announced after the appointment of Wild.
“The gaffer has brought a lot of great team players in, he doesn’t want anyone disrupting anything, because there’s already a good core of the team,” said King, who scored twice in 35 appearances last season.
“We just needed a couple of players here and there, but as long as they don’t disrupt the team chemistry, and aren’t going to be disruptive, then they’re exactly the type of players we need.”
King admits the Town squad were as concerned as the Halifax supporters at the lack of signings during most of the summer.
“We were the same,” he said.”We turned up for the first day of pre-season, and usually there’s five or six trialists or more, and I could have counted on my hands how many players we had, so it was weird.
“Probably more for us than the fans, but the fans are obviously more vocal about it.
“But we’ve got our team now, and it looks like we could have a really good year.
“There’s a great core of the side. You know how many clean sheets we kept last year with Sam (Johnson), Clarkey (Nathan Clarke) and Browny (Matty Brown), we’re always going to do well in defence.
“So then going forward, that’s what we struggled on, scoring goals. But I think playing with more freedom and more excitement, we’re going to score more goals and have more shots at goal. Hopefully that’s where we can improve this year.”
When asked if he thinks Town will play more on the front foot this season, King said: “Yeah, but at the same time, being organised. We’ve worked on shape without the ball a lot.
“We’re all good players, we know how to play the game.
“He wants you to go and express yourself when you’ve got the ball.
“The way I play is off instincts. When I receive the ball, I’m driving, but it’s instincts, I don’t need somebody telling me the whole time where to play it constantly.”