The experienced Matt Taylor has been around long enough to know exactly what to expect from pre-season training.
West Ham United's No14 is starting his 15th season as a professional, but the 30-year-old is still enjoying the hard work as much as he did as a 17-year-old breaking through at Luton Town back in 1999.
Speaking to West Ham TV after Tuesday's 1-1 draw at Blue Square Bet South side Boreham Wood, Taylor talked about the return to action and his aspirations for the forthcoming Barclays Premier League campaign.
How did you assess Tuesday night's game at Boreham Wood and how pre-season training has gone so far?
MT - "It was pretty usual for a pre-season match - rip-roaring at the start. I think the main thing with pre-season games, and it's no disrespect to Boreham Wood, is that we come through injury-free and we seem to have done that. That's the most important thing.
"We've been training hard and been in Austria for a week as well, so the lads were a little tired, but I'm not making any excuses because I thought Boreham Wood played well.
"It's been pretty standard to be honest. I prefer going away for pre-season to be honest, because you have time to focus on nothing other than football and, for me, that's the best way forward
"We've got a couple more trips planned [to Germany and Portugal] as well. Pre-season has been going well. It's getting harder, the older I'm getting, but I'm not going to complain!"
You only had seven weeks off between the Play-Off final and returning to pre-season. Did you have a long enough summer break?
MT - "I think it was long enough, yes. The whole point of last season was to get back to the Premier League and we've started earlier than the other teams because we want to hit the ground running. Hopefully we can do that and we can have a long summer next year."
What is the target in the Barclays Premier League? A lot of people talk about 'consolidation' but what does that mean?
MT - "From previous experience, when you get promoted or are a team that has less financial resources than the top teams in the league, you want to stay up first and foremost. That will be the first aim, as it will be for the teams not in the top six this season.
"We want to make sure we get to that magical 40 points as soon as possible and, if you look at the teams who came up last season like Swansea and Norwich, then you see that anything is possible.
"We don't want to talk too much about where we want to finish next year - obviously we want to stay in the Premier League and if we can achieve that as quickly as possible then that would be a good season."
Are you pleased to avoid the so-called 'Big Four' in the opening six matches of the new Barclays Premier League season?
MT - "There are no easy games in the Premier League. A lot of teams might go into a game against Manchester United in a different mindset to a game against a lesser team, which I personally think is wrong.
"We're going to go into every game this season believing we can win, because if you don't have that winning mentality then I don't think there is any point in playing.
"For me, every game in the Premier League is not an easy game. I've never played in an easy game in the Premier League and this season will be the same."
*Matt Taylor also discussed the need to strengthen the playing squad, the need for a mix of youth and experience and the feelgood factor in the East End ahead of the London 2012 Olympic Games. To watch his West Ham TV interview in full, click on the link below.