Defender up against former club
Saturday’s pre-season win over Preston North End was special for not only Nathan Pond, but fellow defender Conor McLaughlin - competing against his former club.
The Northern Irishman made 24 appearances in three years at Deepdale, and was one of many members of the Fleetwood Town camp up against familiar faces from 20 miles down the road.
And while Preston-born Pond enjoyed his testimonial with a 4-0 win at Highbury, McLaughlin admitted it felt strange seeing his former colleagues once again.
“It was a bit strange having only left Preston a couple of years ago and to see some familiar faces,” said McLaughlin.
“To play against them was strange at the start but I just had to get on with it and focus on our own game.
“There are a lot of Preston connections here at the minute (Alexander, Lucketti, Parkin etc) so it was good for us to play against them and get the win, and especially in Pondy’s testimonial - it was a big win for us.”
The 21-year-old made 15 appearances for Town last season, having signed from North End in July 2012, and was part of the squad that travelled to Austria for a pre-season training camp.
And with the English weather rising in temperature over the last week, the Northern Ireland international says it feels like being back in Obertraun.
“The weather is pretty similar to what it was in Austria. It was very warm over there as well when we were training,” he continued.
“The running has been toned down a little bit now though. I think the 90 minutes against Preston and the 90 minutes the lads got in the last match (against SV Wacker Burghausen) have helped.
“It’s more about everyone gaining game time now, and if some of the lads don’t play on Wednesday, we’ll be doing running to maintain our fitness.”