TUESDAY saw the Summer Solstice, the longest day of the year, and with its passing we can all start to feel thankful that we are working our way towards the Autumn and Winter - the best two seasons of the year - and can put all this football-free Summer nonsense behind us.

As our players and staff start to filter back from their well-earned holidays, it is nearly time for pre-season to start.

The wonder of Instagram is that you can get a pretty clear picture of what most of the squad have been up to.

Getting married seemed to be a big hit this Summer, and congratulations are in order to Ollie Palmer, Luke Young and James Jones who all tied the knot.

Obviously not all the players are on Instagram, so I can only speculate what they got up to.

I like to envision Ben Tozer and Liam McAlinden going paintballing in Denbighshire, while Jake Bickerstaff and Max Cleworth got a 2-for-1 deal on potholing on the Isle of Mann.

Every pre-season is important, but as we continue our quest to try and escape the National League, this particular iteration takes on extra significance.

You may well have seen the announcement, yesterday, of a training camp trip to Alicante, where we will take on two teams to be announced next week, with fixtures also planned against Nantwich and Macclesfield in the run up to our opening day fixture on August 6.

This trip and these games are a chance to get the team together in an environment designed to help them bond and train together in a way we simply weren't able to at the start of last season.

That increased cohesiveness can only help us with our ultimate objective.

Our aim, this year, is to have as much of the squad assembled before the start of the season as possible, aided, in no small way, by the number of players we have retained.

We are, of course, subject to the vagaries of the transfer market, but conversations are ongoing with a number of potential new faces and we will see how those pan out over the next few weeks.

Work has begun on the improvements to the changing rooms, physio room and gym, with the objective of getting them all operational in time for the start of the season.

These, along with a refit of the 1864 Suite, are the major renovations to the stadium to happen during this off-season - apart from work to, hopefully, be commenced on the Kop.

I am quietly hopeful that the work reveals a hidden compartment, built into the walls of the kit room, containing the Lost Gold of Arfon Griffiths. We can but hope.

We've lots to come over the next couple of weeks: new training wear, new kits, new players and a fixture list to peruse.

I'm looking forward to all of it.