Swindon Town defender Cian Harries admitted it was great to pull on a red jersey for the first time as the recent signing made his first appearance for the club in Saturday’s friendly defeat to Supermarine.
The 25-year-old, who competed his switch to SN1 two weeks ago following his release from Bristol Rovers, was handed 45 second half minutes as boss Scott Lindsey experimented with two different starting line-ups either side of the interval at The Webbswood Stadium.
The Welshman, who was part of Joey Barton’s promotion-winning team last term in League Two, admits it was a tough run out on Saturday in sweltering conditions, but games like this play a key role in learning more about the team and highlighting areas for improvement.
“It’s obviously frustrating to come away with a defeat against a side in a lower division than yourselves, but these matches, with no disrespect to the opposition, are all about getting a feel for the ball and adjusting back to the match environment,” he commented.
“This group of players haven’t been together long so it’s a big learning curve for all of us as we build relationships with each other both on and off the pitch, but we are making great progress and we’ve already got a really tight unit.
“The friendlies come thick and fast now with Woking on Tuesday night and Eastleigh next weekend, and those games will provide some different tests for us as we approach the new season, which isn’t too far away now.
“We’ve trained really hard this week and the intensity of our sessions keeps ramping up each day, but nothing can replicate eleven versus eleven on the pitch for that physical and mental awareness.”
Harries went on to add he’ll be counting on his previous experiences in his career to drive himself and his team mates forward as the new campaign fast approaches.
“I’m only 25 but at the moment I’m one of the older players in the squad, which is a bizarre feeling as I’m having to adjust my mindset and use my experience to support and encourage the younger lads, but I’m really enjoying it,” he added.
“I was fortunate enough to train with some amazing professionals during my time at Swansea City when they were in the Premier League and Championship, and obviously I learnt a lot playing under Joey (Barton) at Bristol Rovers last season, so I’m using this to help my team mates and drive this squad forward.
“We obviously need some more experienced heads in the squad and the gaffer is working hard to do this, and I think we’ll find the right blend and balance heading into the new League Two season, and I’m looking forward to that.
“I have confidence in my own ability and I really want to set a good example. I want to support and help develop players here and improve myself so I can be a first team regular at this great club.”