Martyn Waghorn turned up for the first day of pre-season feeling as fresh as his trim after a summer break and is raring to go.
The 29-year-old striker has quite a few pre-seasons under his belt now, but admitted it is still something he doesn’t look forward to.
The start of the 2019/20 season on the other side, however, is what he can’t wait for.
In his first full pre-season with the Rams, after arriving from Ipswich Town late last summer, he is eager to put in the work to be ready for the Monday night trip to Huddersfield Town to kick-start the new campaign on 5th August.
“I thought I needed to take a few extra kilos off!” he joked about his close-shave haircut.
“It will be my eleventh pre-season as a professional. I’ve never really thought of it like that – that’s quite mad. They don’t get any easier, they never have.
“Pre-season is something I have always dreaded, I’ve always hated it, but if I can get through the first week unscathed then I’ll be ok.”
Waghorn, like his team-mates, had a few weeks of the summer to switch off from football to rest and rejuvenate for the upcoming season with the Rams only having a month off after reaching the Play-Off Final in May.
Though he joked that he didn’t once miss his team-mates while away with his family, he was glad to be reunited and get the banter flowing again.
He said: “It’s been really good, spent some nice time with the family - detached a bit and got over the disappointment of what happened in the Play-Off Final.
“It goes quick but it’s nice to be back. I’m sure the boys are ready, as I am, and looking forward to getting the season underway.
“You get to the stage where you start training again independently and you just think if you can get all the lads together and train together it will probably make it a bit easier. You make use of your time off but there is a stage when you start to think you’re missing the banter around the dressing room.
“You still have a bit of banter in the group chat, the lads chuck stuff about and you see everything that is going on with each other.”