With a week to go until the start of Derby County’s 2021/22 Sky Bet Championship season, Kelle Roos is raring to go.
Derby will kick off their league campaign with a home fixture against Huddersfield Town next Saturday (3pm kick-off).
Before then, Derby will make the short journey across the East Midlands to face National League side Notts County at Meadow Lane on Sunday afternoon (1pm kick-off).
Roos, who is one of the Rams’ longest serving players after joining the club in January 2014, believes Derby have enjoyed a positive pre-season under manager Wayne Rooney.
The squad reported back for training on 1st July and, after facing Fulham in a behind-closed-doors meeting earlier this month, they have faced Manchester United, Salford City and Real Betis in public friendly matches.
The goalkeeper, who put in a fine display in the 1-0 victory against Real Betis in midweek, is relishing the prospect of the season getting started for real and playing for points once again.
“Pre-season has gone quick, but it has been good,” Roos told RamsTV.
“It has been a bit different, obviously with everything going on in the world at the moment with COVID-19 and the fact we stayed in England this year.
“It has been very positive, there has been a lot of hard work gone in and everybody looks fit and sharp and almost ready to go.
“We had a good break in the summer too, which was important. It felt almost like two years on the trot with COVID-19 so it was nice to have some time to switch off inbetween seasons mentally.”
On his own pre-season, Roos added: “It is always nice to put in a good performance in pre-season and I made a few saves against Real Betis.
“You feel like you are ready to start the season off on a positive note. You work hard, you want to be sharp and it is nice to feel that in a game.”
Another exciting aspect about the upcoming season is the return of supporters to stadiums.
Owing to the COVID-19 pandemic, the end of the 2019/20 season and the whole 2020/21 season was played behind-closed-doors.
Roos is adamant that having supporters back will make a big difference on the pitch.
“The fans being back is just an amazing feeling, it gives everyone a boost,” he said. “I think even on that note it was nice.
“You can hear them cheer and jeer and it is good. Football is ultimately big because of the fans so without fans it is just not the same and I think everyone feels that. It is great to have them back.
“It is positive for everyone that we can go back to some normality slowly and that is for footballers as well.”