After his late arrival last season, joining the squad at the tail-end of the record-breaking, title-winning campaign, Billy Waters has been enjoying his first pre-season at Wrexham.
The players’ reported back into pre-season testing at the end of June and have been putting in the work necessary to prepare for the forthcoming US Tour.
The players will depart for America this weekend, where they will play four matches across Chapel Hill, Los Angeles, San Diego and Philadelphia.
The squad has already had a first taste of the US audience on their celebratory trip to Las Vegas, but from a football perspective, Waters is relishing the opportunity to play against four prestigious opponents.
He said: “In the off-season we knew we’d be going to the US, so it will be a fantastic experience with some of the teams that we’re playing against, and flying all over America.
“I think everyone is just excited to go over there and we’ve got four games while we’re out there; it’s an opportunity to get fitter and minutes in our legs ahead of the league season.
“A lot of people say how big the Club is in America. We sampled a bit of that when we were in Vegas, but from a footballing perspective going as a team will be completely different.
“It’s exciting to see what that’s going to be like.”
The number 16 got his first taste of featuring in a Wrexham shirt from the bench, in last season’s final fixture against one of his former clubs, Torquay United.
With the game poised at 1-1, it looked as though Waters had got himself a debut goal and a last-minute winner, before it was ruled out for a dubious offside.
Nevertheless, his character and attitude has had a positive impact on the squad, and Waters added he has enjoyed spending the summer break getting to know the lads.
He said: “It’s been brilliant, obviously when I first joined, I knew a couple of the lads but the off-season and going to Vegas was great to integrate myself with the group.
“Coming back into pre-season has been brilliant, it’s been tough work, but the lads have all stuck together and it’s been a really good first week.
“The staff gave us the first three weeks completely off our feet and after that we started to implement runs which all the boys did.
“You can tell because everyone has come in with that foundation to build on, everyone’s come in really fit and we’re all ready to build on that.
“You miss that dressing room environment… [oh shut up Bill, shouted by Elliot Lee across the hallway]”
“I spent a lot of time with him this summer. You miss the changing room and the banter so it’s nice to have a break from it, but it’s good to have it back.”
The EFL season will kick-start for the Red Dragons on August 5, with a home fixture at the STōK Cae Ras against MK Dons.
Last season saw Phil Parkinson's men go unbeaten at home through the whole campaign - and they'll now look to continue that streak when they take on an MK Dons side who were beaten 1-0 on their last trip to North Wales.
With less than a month until the fixture, Waters believes the work the players have already put in means they will be more than ready, and relishing the season come kick-off.
He said: “It was tough at the start with the Yo-Yo test and a few 1km runs; it’s been intense. They aren’t long runs, but really intense when we are working.
“Everyone has been doing their work away from the Club, nobody is flagging so the standard of fitness is really high.
“Fair play to everyone for doing the work in the off-season because it shows.
“It’s going to be massive, but the main thing for us is to get fit and approach it at our absolute best.”