Summer signing Nathan Baxter is ready and raring to go as he gets set for a Wanderers’ debut.
The new Whites’ number-one chalked up the 150th League appearance of his career during a loan spell in the Championship with Hull City last season.
A bout of surgery kept him out of the Tigers’ post-World Cup campaign but after joining Wanderers at the start of the summer he can’t wait to get going when Ian Evatt’s men kick off their League One challenge at home to Lincoln City on Saturday.
“It was really important for me to get some games under my belt. I felt really good and really fit but definitely felt like I needed the games before the real thing and that’s why I was so keen to make sure I was at a club for day one of pre-season,” said Baxter, who played the full fixtures against Everton and West Bromwich Albion as Wanderers completed their pre-season programme unbeaten.
“To be at the club from day one of pre-season I’ve really felt the benefit. Getting to know the style of play – which isn’t too different to the way I’ve been used to playing – and getting to know the boys has been important.
“We’ve been very good at times in pre-season, there’s some stuff to work on, as you’d expect, and hopefully all the supporters will see the fruits of that on Saturday.
“I think pre-season you can take with a pinch of salt, whether you win games or lose games, is not a big issue.
“But I think we’re in a really good place and I’m really excited to get out there and play in front of the supporters and show everyone what we can do as a team.
“We want to stamp on our authority on the league. I know, speaking to a few of the boys, when they got promoted out of League Two they had a slow start and still got promoted. It’s not vital but it would be ideal we get off to a good start.”
Baxter has clocked up almost 200 career appearances in all competitions during a succession of beneficial loan moves from Chelsea before ending his long stay with the former European and Premier League champions at the end of last summer.
The 24-year-old became one of Evatt’s first signings of the current transfer window as he agreed a two-year deal at the Toughsheet Community Stadium.
And after making Wanderers his new home, the goalkeeper is ready to play his part as the Whites aim to make it a successful campaign.
“I feel like I’ve been here for a few years, which is a great sign. Everyone at the training ground is really together,” Baxter added.
“There’s a really good atmosphere, I really enjoy coming into work every day. From the strength and conditioning coaches, physios, staff, lads, we’ve all got our eye on one goal and we hope to take a step towards that on Saturday.
“If you’re not excited for the first game of the season you should probably be retiring, I’d imagine. My last proper game was a long time ago so I’m really looking forward to it.
“You want to be working for something that matters and we’ve got that on Saturday.”
To enjoy a full pre-match interview with Nathan watch Wanderers TV. For details of how to subscribe, please go HERE
And read an in-depth interview with the Wanderers’ keeper in Saturday’s new-look matchday programme ‘The Wanderer’ which will be on sale around the ground.