Tom Costello is looking forward to returning to competitive action against Reading U21 on Tuesday afternoon as the Sky Blues U21s look to defend their Professional Development League title.
John Dempster's side have enjoyed a busy summer with friendlies and behind-closed-doors fixtures against Chelsea U21, Everton U21, Leicester City U21, Stratford Town and Nuneaton.
But now the real hard work will begin, as they prepare to welcome Reading U21 to the Alan Higgs Centre on Monday (August 23) at 1pm.
"Our pre-season has been brilliant," said Costello. "We have played against a variation of teams, from the Premier League to the very opposite of that, like Stratford and Nuneaton.
"No matter the opponent, they were all equally as good a test. There was lots and lots to take from those games.
"Against Chelsea, we played against experienced internationals such as Ross Barkley and Mitchy Batshuayi, who count hundreds of Premier League appearances. There was lots and lots to learn from those players, who are at the top of the game."
Having joined the club from Wigan Athletic during the summer, the build up to the 2022-23 campaign has been Costello's first pre-season with the club.
He has also joined a side looking to defend their PDL title, after storming to glory last term.
"The lads have been first class with me and, as a new lad, that's all that you want," he continued.
"I've moved away from home for the first time, living away from home, and the lads have made me feel really welcome.
"Let's hope we can take this together that we have as a group into Tuesday and the rest of the season."
"The new manager has been brilliant, too. He's also new to the team and the lads really like him. He's a great coach.
"He and Chris Allen (U21s assistant) have been brilliant with us during pre-season so far and we can't wait to see how the season develops."
Setting out his targets for the season ahead, Costello added: "First and foremost, I'm trying to get games and score goals for the Under-21s and to help the team win. So long as I am doing my job, the team will stand in good sted for having good games and finishing rihgt up there like the lads did last season.
"Reading U21s will be a good test on Tuesday, as they have just dropped down from the category above.
"The lads are prepared for it and hopefully we can get off to a good start."