Kevin Thornton is desperate to put his injury nightmare behind him and earn a contract at Wrexham.
The 25-year-old midfielder, who has joined Wrexham on trial, left League Two side Northampton Town at the start of last season but then sustained hamstring and knee injuries while playing for Conference new-comers Nuneaton Town.
Getting fully fit remains the priority and Thornton, who came through the ranks at Coventry City where he went on to make more than 50 senior appearances between 2005 and 2009, is looking forward to getting his career back on track.
“I left Northampton in August and while I was waiting for something to get sorted, I played a couple of games for Nuneaton on non-contract terms because it was local,” said Thornton.
“I was playing games for them just to keep fit but unfortunately I got injured and did my hamstring. I came back from that and then my knee went, so I am just recovering from that now.
“I did not really play much last season because of injury but that is all behind me now hopefully. I am just working hard in the gym at the minute, doing all my stuff with the physio.
“I feel good, I just want to get fit and out on the training pitch, and have a good pre-season.”
Desperate to try and impress Wrexham player-boss Andy Morrell and earn a contract, Thornton, added: “I am just so eager to get out there with the lads and back training, hopefully get something sorted, get my head down and kick on.
“Everyone loves playing but it has been a horrible few months since Christmas because I am used to being in full-time training.
“It is just good to be at a club and being around all the lads again. I just want to get fit, put last year behind me and start afresh.
“It would be nice to get a deal sorted. I have been around Coventry since I have been 14 so if I come here and have a fresh start, get my head down and be around new places and people, hopefully everything goes well.”
While Thornton is putting the hours in at the gym, the Wrexham players have been put through their paces in a series of fitness sessions since returning for pre-season training on Tuesday.
But although he hopes to join in with his new team-mates, Thornton remains cautious.
“I just don’t want to rush it, then go out and have a setback,” he added. “I have just got to be steady at the moment and keep doing my work in the gym. But everything is coming on really well so it is only a matter of time, hopefully the middle of next week, before I get back running with the lads.”
Wrexham head to Aberystwyth for a training camp next week before facing the Welsh Premier League outfit in their first pre-season friendly on Saturday at Park Avenue.
Thornton’s older brother Sean, also a midfielder who has played for Sunderland, Doncaster Rovers and Leyton Orient, is currently turning out for Aber but is unlikely to face the Wrexham trialist.
“I don’t think I will be ready for a game yet because I haven’t played since December-January time,” said Thornton. “I am just easing myself nicely into training and doing my work on the running machine. All I want to do now is just get out there with the lads, train and hopefully get everything sorted.”
Morrell is familiar with Thornton from his own spell with Coventry who he joined in 2003 following a successful first spell at Wrexham.
Having seen Lee Fowler and Jamie Tolley leave since the turn of the year, Morrell hopes to sign another midfielder and Thornton is keen to do well during his trial.
“Obviously I played with Andy at Coventry and he knows me as a player,” added Thornton. “I am a left-footed attacking midfielder, I like getting on the ball and make things happen.
“If I could do well here, it would be good to try and get the club promoted - do well for myself and do well for the club.”