PREPARATIONS are going well at Nethermoor, with the new pitch taking root and looking very green and pleasant.

Guiseley will be roaring out on it hoping to rip the Bantams apart when Lions boss Mark Bower’s former club Bradford City visit for a pre-season friendly on Saturday, July 12 – but the players have not yet reported back for training.

Bower said: “There is a lot of stuff in place with the pitch work and most of the squad all sorted out, and I’m looking forward to it.

"The players will be coming back in a week on Tuesday, so we will be well into our pre-season by the time the World Cup finishes.

“That makes the close season seem short – but it has been.

"When you reach the play-offs, it always extends the season so that makes it a short break. I don’t expect any problems from the players when they do come back, but that’s not because they have only had a handful of weeks off.

“The players today keep themselves fit – the wider community does as there is more emphasis on a healthy lifestyle.

"Gone are the days when the first couple of weeks back from the close season were all long cross-country runs trying to get a couple of stone off.

“The players will return in good shape and just needing to get used to playing the ball around. The first few sessions will be a hard slog but the lads will soon be into it and their fitness will begin to sharpen up.

“We are all determined to go one better than last season. We don’t want another near miss through the play-offs.

"We want to finally get that promotion we have been so close to for the last few years.”