Pre-season training is the time where players get themselves back up to fitness, put miles in the legs and prepare themselves for the rigours of a full season.
For young professionals like Tom McIntyre and his teammates from the Academy, it's also a time to show what they can do as they look to become first-team players for the campaign ahead.
Having earned his first taste of senior football last season after two lengthy injury absences, McIntyre is keen to make his mark at the club he supported as a child.
On pre-season, he said: “I’m really looking forward to it. You have your first two weeks of the off-season to just chill and relax, and do your own thing – which are enjoyable, but then you get a bit bored and want to be back with the boys.
“Impressing the manager will be massive. Although he’s had a first impression of me already, at the start of pre-season he’ll be looking at who he wants to keep and who he wants to be in the team. It’s massive for everyone.
“It would be exciting to go on pre-season tour too, I’ve had a few injuries in the past that have stopped me going, but if the chance comes about then I’ll really look forward to it.
“With what’s happened, I prioritise the off-season, gym and prehab [injury-preventing exercises] more than most people because I know the repercussions of a long-term injury.
“That’s something I’m really big on – prehab, the gym, just to be strong for the start. It’s going to be a busy pre-season, 46 games is a lot and I want to be ready for that if I'm needed."
McIntyre is one of a number of Academy players who look to make an impression in a blue and white shirt next season, with 10 Academy graduates having played minute last term and Jordan Obita still to return from long-term injury.
For the younger crop especially, pre-season is prime time to shine in front of the manager as they try to play their way into his plans.
“We’re all really hungry to do well, this is for a lot of us," McIntyre explained. "We want to do well because it’s the start of our professional football careers.
“That’s really important for us, we need to show that we’re ready. I think it’s massive that we’ll be hungry and wanting to do well for the club and for the fans.
“I can’t even explain how much getting my debut has pushed me on. When I’m at the park and finding it hard, I know that this is where I want to be, and this is what I want to be doing.
“As a fan, I’ve been excited for the start of the season in past years, but to maybe get the chance to play in it is massive for me.”