GUISELEY boss Mark Bower feels his players will be ready for the coming season – despite bringing them back from pre-season later than many of their Conference North rivals.

The former Bantams centre back makes no excuses for allowing the squad a couple of weeks more to enjoy the summer.

“We started last Tuesday and I think many of the other clubs beat us back in by a week or ten days," said Bower.

"But given that we were in the play-off final and still going in the middle of last May, we have probably had just about the same length of break.

“It gives us less pre-season training sessions but we have got seven very good friendly games to get the squad up to match fitness.

"The players looked in good shape on Tuesday and the plan is for everyone to hit the ground running.”

The Guiseley manager wanted a mix of friendly fixtures and he got his wish with the three local Football League neighbours all coming to Nethermoor, along with Nuneaton Town.

Added to those are three away games against clubs lower down the pyramid that will test the Lions squad.

Bower said: “There are plenty of games to get the lads fit and we’re looking forward to them.

"We haven’t got the biggest squad in the world but we sat down – Danny Bosh (assistant manager Boshell), Martin Stringfellow and I – and tried to pick our best side but we all came up with something different.

“It is so difficult to pick because we have a lot of versatile players. That will help when we play all these friendly games because it means we can ensure that everyone gets some game-time but no-one will be overplayed.

“We don’t just want 11 fit players for August 16, we want the full squad to be match fit and ready.

“The new signings have settled in already but we expected that. Adam Boyes was here with us last season. We just made his move from Gateshead permanent, so he just picked up where he left off.

“It might be a few years since Ryan Toulson was here but he knows the surroundings and a lot of the players.

"The same goes for Danny Lowe. He has never played for the club but is a local lad, so he’s very familiar with Guiseley and knows a lot of our players.

“It has been quite easy for them to come into the club and they have enjoyed training with the lads.”