Jesse Starkey is determined to show what he’s made off in pre-season after making his Town debut at the end of the 2016/17 campaign.
The energetic midfielder, who put pen to paper on an 18-month deal at The County Ground in January 2017, was handed his first outing for The Reds away at Charlton Athletic back in May.
Despite being on the losing side with The Addicks running out 3-0 victors, Starkey produced a neat and tidy display in the middle of the park.
Now preparing to enter into his first full season with the club, the 21-year-old reflected on his “special" debut before laying out his aims for pre-season as he looks to impress the new management team at Town, whoever they may be.
“It was definitely a special day for me and it was something new because it was my first start in league football,” he told www.swindontownfc.co.uk.
“I really enjoyed it, even though the result didn’t go our way, and it was a good way to make my debut because there was no real pressure.
“We already knew we were down, which was obviously very disappointing, but it took the pressure off me a bit and I wasn’t nervous going into the game.
“I could just enjoy it and it was a good experience for me. Hopefully that will help me this season and in League Two.
“It was a tough game against Charlton, they had the ball quite a lot and we were probably defending a bit more than normal, but I thought when I got the ball that I was steady and I didn’t really give it away.
“I would like to be an exciting player for Swindon in the years to come.
“There are going to be a lot of new faces around but for me it is massive that I impress in the pre-season games, get in the team and then stay there – that’s the aim.
“I want to play as many games as I can and do well for myself and do well for the club.”
Starkey is currently on his summer break but, although he is fitting in plenty of down time, he is also making sure that his fitness levels are being maintained in preparation for pre-season.
“When you train every day you need to make sure that you do get a little bit of time off to rest, but even when I’ve been on holiday I’ve been running quite hard and making sure that I’m staying fit,” he added.
“I’ve been in the gym and I've been doing the summer programme that I’ve been set, while I’ve also been playing little five-a-sides with my friends to keep the football side of it going.
“I’ve been trying to improve on little things and I’ve been doing a lot of work on my own just to improve my right foot and things like that.
“It is a time to relax but you have to get the balance right, you have to eat healthy and stay fit so that we’re ready for the season ahead.”
Town will be looking to secure an immediate return to the Sky Bet League One in 2017/18 and Starkey is confident that the foundations are in place to make that dream a reality.
“We wasn’t out of our depth in League One with the players that we had, so promotion is definitely the aim for next season,” he stated.
“We’ve got some talented players and a few good signings would help.”