David Stephens is targeting an immediate return to the Football League as Barnet head into their first pre-season fixture of the 2013/14 season.
The 22-year-old was a stand-out performer for the Bees last season and after a disappointing end to the campaign he is looking forward to what believes will be a memorable season for the club.
Speaking to barnetfc.com, Stephens stated that it all starts tomorrow at Clarence Park.
“It’s been a while so I’m really looking forward to getting back out there. We are looking forward now and we all want to bounce back up.
“It all starts tomorrow at St Albans, and although it’s pre-season we will give everything we can to win the game.”
You would have thought that a win would help lift the team following a difficult year but Stephens revealed that spirits are high and they are all focussed on the future.
“It was very strange and a lot of the boys initially struggled to get over what happened last season but we have faced up to it now and our spirits are high.
“We are training well and we are feeling fit so we can’t wait to get back playing matches.”
The central defender continued by hailing the players, the management and the board for keeping the core of the team together under difficult circumstances.
“You have to praise the management, the board and the Chairman because they have managed to keep a lot of the players.
“Some of the players also pledged that they wanted to stay which is great for us because we have kept that core. A lot of the players we had last season will be key if we want to go back up.”
He also revealed that his future was never in any doubt, and that he is fully committed to helping the Bees make an immediate return to the Football League.
“My first concern was focussing on how I was going to help the team get back up into the Football League.”
“I have a contract with Barnet so I never looked at it any other way; I was always going to be here.”
Last season Stephens formed a number of impressive partnerships and following the signing of Anthony Acheampong from Welling United yet another could be about to blossom.
“Last season I had about six or seven including the manager who played centre-back at Accrington Stanley!
“Me and Anthony (Acheampong) have been working well in training together and we will look to form a good partnership.
He did however admit that both he and Acheampong will have to be on their toes with new signings possible and a host of youngsters waiting in the wings.
“We have other defenders in the squad who will be pushing for a place and new signings could come in so there will be healthy competition.
“The younger players have also looked sharp, Iffy Allen and George Sykes have been particularly impressive and they will be looking to stamp their authority in the first-team.”
Stephens and the Bees travel to St Albans on Tuesday 9th July for their first match of pre-season, kick-off is at 7.45pm.