Football is back and former Huddersfield Town goalkeeper and BBC Radio Leeds pundit Matt Glennon is ready for the big kick-off.
But how does he see the 2023-24 Championship season panning out for the Terriers with Neil Warnock in charge for ‘one more year?’
“I’m excited to get back into it now after the break,” said Glennon. “I’m looking forward to seeing how we perform under Neil.
“Last season was all about backs-to-the wall fighting, biting, scrapping for every point to survive in the last 15 matches. It didn’t matter how we played, it was about getting points.
“Going into this season I feel there is a bit of expectation and it will be interesting to see if we can carry the end of last season’s form into this campaign.
“It’s a very different mentality getting up for a long 46-game season to one with just 15 fixtures to survive.”
Town’s transfer activity with almost a month of the window left has been slow with only two additions to the squad in free agent goalkeeper Chris Maxwell, formerly of Blackpool and Preston, and right-back Tom Edwards signing on loan from Stoke City.
Despite the lack of new recruits, Glennon is relaxed about the situation, believing Warnock will have the players raring to go in the opening game of the season at Plymouth on Saturday (August 5).
Glennon added: “I think the club made the right decision to keep hold of Neil. He knows the players and knows the division. We saw what he got out of the players at the end of last season by keeping us up. I’m not panicking about the squad depth and the fact we have only signed two players.
“Yes, we have lost a few players from last season but the ones we have lost are either fringe lads, young kids, injury prone or went back to their parent clubs after being on loan.
“We have good defenders and Yuta Nakayama is back. I thought he was a good signing and got really unlucky with his injury. So him coming back is like a new player.
“Sorba Thomas coming back is like a new player too for going forward. Neil didn’t get a chance to work with him as he’d gone on loan to Blackburn. However, hopefully Neil can now get the best out of Sorba.
“Hopefully Sorba comes back with a new attitude and he can put in the performances he did in his first season at Town and put behind him what happened last season.
“This year is going to be a big year for Jack Rudoni too, in my opinion. We saw him start to be more commanding in games and get a few goals, hopefully that trend continues into this campaign.
“I think Neil will use the loan market but we already have a good basis of a squad, it’s just adding certain quality in certain areas.
“These players didn’t become bad players overnight, they just weren’t being coached properly and now they have a manager in charge who they believe in.”
There has been a big change in regards to the goalkeeping situation this summer. The club has managed to retain number one stopper Lee Nicholls. They have added Chris Maxwell but sold promising young keeper Nicholas Bilokapic to League One side Peterborough United.
There has also been a change in the coaching staff with long-time servant Paul Clements departing and former Town keeper Ian Bennett returning to take up the head of goalkeeping role.
As a former keeper himself Glennon knows all there is to know about the importance of the No1.
“The first thing is that Town are doing well to keep hold of Lee Nicholls; he’s vital for the team. He’s one of the best – if not the best – keeper in the Championship.
“The club has decided to sell Bilokapic, which I am a bit surprised about. I thought he did OK when he played and clearly has some ability so I was shocked they’d let him leave.
“However, bringing in Maxwell was a good move, an experienced keeper who’s played at this level and knows what it’s about and so I think that’s a sensible move.
“Neil clearly wanted a change in terms of the coaches and to bring in his own people. Whilst it’s sad to see Paul depart I know he’ll get another club quickly because he’s such a good coach.
“Having Ian come back to the club is brilliant. He’s such an intelligent keeper and a great bloke too so I’m happy to see him return.”
Finally, Glennon says that it will be hard to predict where Town will ultimately finish in the league this season because the Championship is such a wacky, weird and unpredictable division.
He said: “You have no idea what will happen! I love the Championship because anyone can beat anyone. You have no idea from one week to the next who will win and the table positions can change in just a few results.
“It’s such a hard league to predict and that’s why having Warnock in there is so important for this transition the club is going through. We don’t want to go through what we did under Mark Fotheringham.
“Let’s hope we get off to a good start against Plymouth on Saturday and then start the season off well and with some form.”