Captain Peter Cavanagh has been looking ahead to the start of the season as we get ready to welcome Hartlepool United to Spotland this Saturday for the first game of the new campaign.
The 31-year-old has been handed the arm band for a second season, and while he is honoured to have received the captaincy, he says there are many leaders on the pitch which will stand Dale in good stead.
He told Dale Player: “It’s great that the Manager thinks I can carry out his instructions and influence people on the pitch. I don’t need an arm band to do that because I would do that for him anyway. We’ve got plenty of leaders on the pitch in other senior players and even some of the younger ones who take ownership and responsibility in games. The more leaders we can have on the pitch, the better we’ll do this year.
“There seems to be a really good mix of players and the young ones are keeping the old ones young, while the old ones are keeping the young ones in check, so there is a really good balance. Everyone feels like they have the chance to play so there is a nice competition element as well. Training has been quite sharp and everyone is on their toes and ready to go.”
From a personal point of view, Cav is happy with how pre-season has gone.
“I feel really good. This year has been a little different to what I’m used to and there has been more emphasis on ball work which I’ve really enjoyed and I feel sharp because of. I also think that the things we’ve been working on in training has been coming out in dribs and drabs in games and fitness wise all the lads are looking sharp. It’s now all about fine tuning for the first game against Hartlepool.”
And with the season about to get underway, the skipper has high hopes for campaign ahead.
“First and foremost I want to win the league. Until it is mathematically impossible that is what I’ll be aiming for and it is what I’ll be drumming into the lads. That might be unrealistic, but you don’t know. We haven’t seen any of the other teams at this moment in time, but I have every confidence in the players that we have assembled.”
You can listen to the full interview with Cav on Dale Player now.