FORMER Newport County AFC captain David Pipe is relishing another Conference promotion push having swapped Rodney Parade for Forest Green Rovers this summer.
Pipe arrived at The New Lawn as Rovers manager Ady Pennock’s first post-season signing, agreeing a two-year contract after his release by the Exiles.
The 30-year-old played a key role in County’s rise into the Football League just over a year ago and he’s working hard in pre-season to help his new team on the same route.
The demands of pre-season fitness testing are welcomed with open arms by the Caerphilly-born fitness fanatic.
“I don’t like to admit it but I think it is my 15th proper pre-season. I quite enjoy it – I like the physical side of things,” he told the Gloucester Citizen.
“You’ve got to do it to be ready for that first game of the season. The organisation here and the way everything has been set up is impressive.
“I think experience teaches me that you don’t come back peaking. I’ve seen boys come back and be flying in those first two weeks and then at the beginning of the season falling off a little bit.”
Pipe will be part of the squad who travel to Scotland on Sunday for a week long training camp before pre-season clashes with the likes of Crystal Palace and an Arsenal youth team.
“I think it is a perfect opportunity to go away to Scotland and the way to get to know people is to be around them a bit more,” he added. “It is what you want to get out of the friendlies.”
The former Wales international captained County to Conference play-off final success at Wembley in May 2013 and he’s keen to pass on his experience.
“I’m excited and looking at what we’ve got of course promotion is certainly doable,” he said.
“It is a tough league to get out of – I’ve witnessed that myself and I have been lucky enough to go through the Wembley side of it.
“I am looking to bring that experience and to share it with the other players.”