Peterhead’s Simon Ferry hopes he will be able to put his plastic pitch pain behind him this season.
The Blue Toon are returning to League One after last season’s title triumph and Ferry hopes he’ll be able to make a comeback on artificial parks.
When the Buchan outfit were last in Scottish football’s third tier – 2016/17 – the midfielder was troubled with a back injury, aggravated by playing on synthetic surfaces.
As a result, in the last two seasons manager Jim McInally has mostly avoided playing the 31-year-old in fixtures on plastic pitches.
This season, Falkirk, Raith Rovers, Forfar, Montrose, East Fife, Clyde and Airdrieonians all have artificial pitches.
But Ferry is hopeful of playing in some of those games and said: “Towards the end of the season I was training on the plastic pitch at Forfar and felt fine.
“I’ll give it a bash at the start of the season and see how I get on. Hopefully my back will be fine.
“It’s just about managing it and when I had problems with my back on the artificial pitches before I wasn’t really going to the gym.
“Now I go to the gym most days and do more stretches and things like that so I’m hoping my back will be all right.”
This season will be Ferry’s fifth with Peterhead and the former Swindon, Portsmouth and Dundee player is thrilled to still be at Balmoor.
He added: “I’m delighted to be staying with the club because I love it here.
“It’s a really good group of guys from the players, the management and coaches and the directors.
“I want to keep playing as long as I can because the old cliche is that you’re a long time retired.
“If I wasn’t enjoying my football then I probably would just chuck it and retire.
“But I love playing for Peterhead, I love seeing the boys and that’s why I keep playing.
“There isn’t really another team like Peterhead.
“We were up at Stonehaven for pre-season training on Saturday and we had a BBQ after training.
“I could talk about part-time clubs – but there are full-time clubs that don’t look after players like Peterhead look after us.
“There’s a great group of people at the club and they’re great to play for.”
Ferry is optimistic ahead of the League One campaign and he believes it’s important the majority of Peterhead’s League Two title-winning squad have stayed on.
He said: “I’m hoping we can do well again this season. I think it’s important that we kept most of the team which won the league last season.
“People get caught up on signing new players, but when you think about how competitive our league was and we won it.
“It shows what we’re capable of as a group.
“The players we’ve signed from Annan (Scott Hooper and Aidan Smith) have come in and looked great.
“But we finished 30 points ahead of Annan last season and I think it was important to keep most of the players here and it’s great we’ve done that.
“The aim in League One is just to do as well we can and try to win every game.
“We’re not going to be fazed by any other teams in the league.”