TRAFFORD FC begin their pre-season friendly fixtures at Abbey Hey on Saturday with boss Tom Baker keen to get off to a winning start.

While most managers admit pre-season's main focus is on fitness and preparing for the main season which starts on August 12, Baker says he also wants to get into a winning routine and go into the new campaign full of confidence.

He told Messenger: "Pre-season is crucial for me – it always has been.

"I always put a lot of emphasis on it. You have to make sure you get the right training done and it is a lot about fitness.

"But you also want to win games and get into that rhythm.

"It is important to get the right number of games in but also the right calibre of opponent which I think we have done this year.

"We start at Abbey Hey and round off with games against Salford City and Altrincham so we have the right games to prepare.

"Hopefully it will give us a good basis for the season.

"Admittedly it can be tough in non-league with part-time players and lads away on holiday.

"But hopefully we will have a good run of games and results to get ready for August 12."

While it is crucial for fitness and preparation, Trafford's run of friendlies will also give Baker a chance to look at how his team is shaping up after a busy summer of transfer business which has seen the new arrival quota reach double figures.

But the boss is happy with his summer dealings and feels he has added the right blend of youth and experience with old heads such as ex-Tranmere and Grimsby centre-back Paul Linwood and returning former Shawe View defender Steve Mason.

Baker added: "I am happy with the business and I think we have got what we wanted.

"You never say never but if no more were to arrive then I would not be concerned.

"We have tried to get a balance in and I think the blend is right now.

"We have nine or 10 new faces but in the squad now we have just two or three over 30 with most at a good age between 23 and 27, mixed with youngsters."

Trafford's pre-season kicks off at Abbey Hey on Saturday, before another away game at Prestwich Heys on Tuesday.