DEFENDER Mark Ross thinks the early signs have only been positive since Bradford (Park Avenue) began pre-season.

It has been a frustrating period for Mark Bower and co. since restarting training just over a month ago.

Last week, with some late work needed on their new 3G pitch, Avenue had to postpone their friendly with Huddersfield Town's under-19s.

However, Bradford were able to arrange a last minute game at Silsden, which they won 2-1, and don the Horsfall surface on Thursday to get in a much-needed session.

With a slight step-up in opposition today at Ossett United, Ross admits the team are still a few weeks away from being in tiptop shape.

The central defender has been impressed though with the small glimpses he has seen so far.

Ross said: "It is still that first couple of weeks when you are getting used to how everybody plays. It will all start to gel together soon.

"This is a different pre-season because I have had 15-16 weeks off.

"I am a little bit rusty so I think it is going to take me another week or two, but that’s the same for everyone.

"It is more ball work and sharpness. Everyone is just getting back to kicking a ball again.

"We have been running, but it’s different when you have got a ball at your feet and your legs are tired.

"Mark (Bower) wants to play football. When I was here last time you could try do that, but then you would play on some awful pitches. I think it (the new pitch) will really help us.

"It was good to play with the lads (against Silsden).

"I heard a lot of things last season, but I have come here thinking we have got a good team and solid base from back to the front. I don’t see why it can't be as good as other years."

The period Ross is referring too is his first spell at the club. In his two years, he was part of a side who achieved consecutive National League North playoff finishes.

A spell at beloved National League club Chorley followed. Although, it didn't exactly go as planned. The Magpies finished bottom after the points-per-game solution.

The 31-year-old added: "It was just a weird season. At one point, we had the best defence in the league, we weren’t losing by many.

"I enjoyed testing myself in that league, I felt comfortable. It was just a lot of travelling which took its toll when you’re part-time.

"There are professional teams, who train together everyday, they know exactly what each other are doing. Individually, I don't think the quality of the players are much different.

"We were training twice a week for an hour, while you play the likes of Notts County who have trained five days a week, and have looked at your videos and players.

"We did well and battled, but you never really had the high, it was just the lows."

Reuniting with Bower and good friend Luca Havern were the two biggest attractions when Ross was contemplating a return to West Yorkshire.

He said: "I could have gone a few different places but I just love playing under this coaching staff, that’s why I am back.

"It’s an atmosphere where you can relax and get on with playing your own game.

"We had a little private deal, me and Luca. We are pretty much best mates anyway even before Bradford.

"He wanted to get back into this league and I wanted to play at somewhere where I enjoyed playing.

"Last time, we were here we had two amazing seasons together. I want to recreate some good moments."