It's been the toughest pre-season I've had as a professional. Not in terms of the type of training, it hasn't just been caveman-like endless running, but the amount of sessions.
We've combined a lot of the fitness stuff with ball work and hopefully we'll reap the benefits. We've done 50 per cent more training than last year, which puts us in the best possible shape for when the league campaign gets underway.
Everyone has put in a hell of a shift, not just the players, but the whole backroom staff as well. During the training camp in Germany we had to do a gruelling assault course. There was 56-year-old Peter Farrell and Sladey the masseur standing side-by-side with the players doing it as well.
It was a combined effort and the camaraderie struck up between the group bodes well for the season. We've got to show character when things aren't going our way. I believe we've got that in abundance.
The club's moving forward all the time – it's only Kev [O'Connor] and I that remain from when I signed four years ago. You can't sit still, you've got to progress and move with it otherwise you'll be left behind. We've realised that and have been working harder to keep up.
I've done extra bits on my own as well at a running centre in Chiswick, as well as with Chris Haslam, the fitness coach at the club. I paid the price last year, so after agreeing a new deal in the summer I thought what areas of my game I could improve on.
Football's as much about what you do without the ball as what you do with it nowadays, so I wanted to try and gain that extra yard of pace and be a bit more explosive. I've been working one-on-one with a coach and I must admit I feel much sharper for it.
Like any football club, you're always going to lose some players. Harry's departure was a blow and I miss having him around the place. He was a good mate of mine, like an annoying little brother. He would wind you up then the next minute he would grin and you would end up forgiving him.
He wanted to play Championship football. Also, his family wasn't living with him while he was playing in London, but now they're going to be moving up there too. People don't get to hear that side of things. It's a decision he made and we wish him well. He wasn't the brightest spark, but we've managed to replace him with someone just as stupid in George Saville aka Trigger!
It's also great that Si Moore has got his move to a Premier League club. Since he came through the door he's always given 100 per cent and his professionalism was superb. With his talent it was only a matter of time before he got a big move and no one begrudges him the opportunity.
The gaffer has moved to strengthen the squad in the summer and the standard in training now is outrageous. There will be players not making the 18 who feel they should be starting, let alone on the bench. That's a testament to the scouting system in place at the club and the lads themselves for the hard graft they put in every day at training.
We all know it's going to be a long season, so everyone will be needed. There's friendly, healthy competition for every spot, and if someone comes in we all wish them well.
There's been no hangover from what happened last season. I'm a firm believer what doesn't kill you makes you stronger, and we're all a year older and wiser for it.
The mood in the camp is great heading into the new season. We've managed to keep hold of the majority of the squad and bring more quality in too. But it's now time for the talking to stop. We've got to go out there at 3pm on Saturday at Port Vale and do our talking on the pitch.
Follow @samsaunders7 on Twitter