Jack Byrne is something of a rare breed – not only is he looking forward to pre-season training, he’s putting in some extra work in the meantime to give him a head start!
The 21-year-old midfielder – who has represented Ireland at every level up to Under-21s – endured a largely frustrating start to his Wigan Athletic career following his January arrival from Manchester City.
The Dubliner made only two appearances – both of them victories, against Rotherham and Barnsley – after spending much of his time working behind the scenes on his fitness.
Having forced his way into the squad by April, the end of the season came at the worst possible time for him.
All of which means he’s champing at the bit to attack next term with as much gusto as possible.
“I can’t wait for next season to be honest,” he told the Wigan Post.
“I can’t wait to work hard over the off-season and get a head start ready for the off.
“It’s a big season for me – especially after not getting as many games as I would have liked this season – and I’m really looking forward to it.”
Byrne was brought to the DW Stadium by former boss Warren Joyce, who’d been impressed with his performances at Under-23 level.
Sadly he was unable to do much to prevent his new club suffering relegation to the third tier.
But he does not think dropping out of the Championship has to be the end of the world.
“Sometimes you need something like this to happen, to avoid papering over the cracks,” Byrne added.
“When we do drop into League One, it’s important the club stays together and does bounce back.
“I’m sure there’ll be a lot going on behind the scenes to make sure we are ready for next season.
“We’ll probably have an early start, and that should help the players begin to prepare for what will be a massive season for us all.”