THERE was a buzz as Wrexham returned for pre-season training looking to banish the memories of National League play-off heartbreak.

Less than eight weeks have passed since the Reds saw their promotion challenge ended by a 1-0 defeat to Eastleigh.

But a trio of new signings in the shape of JJ Hooper, Devonte Redmond and Leighton McIntosh have freshened up Bryan Hughes’ squad, who got straight back down to work at Nine Acre yesterday.

“It’s buzzing,” said Hughes of the Reds changing room on the first day back. “Everyone has seen each others faces again and the new lads are getting used to the group.

“There’s a lot of change, even the backroom team is changing.

“There’s a good feeling.”

Asked whether there was still a play-off hangover, Hughes dismissed the notion that his players would be thinking about that defeat with all eyes instead on the start of the new campaign.

“You can’t do anything about it now,” conceded Hughes. “It’s frustrating because we did so well on the night.

“We deserved a bit better, but sometimes you get games like that.

“I’ve been in games of football where you’ve played well and not got the rub of the green, so you end up losing.

“You have to put it to bed.”

That’s not to say that Hughes won’t evoke memories of that defeat if things aren’t going to plan at time this season.

He continued: “It’s still there and we can use it as a tool to motivate us going forward this season, and I’m sure I will at times.

“The players, I’m pretty sure will have rested up, had a holiday with the will be there at the back of their minds, but I’m sure we can call upon that feeling from that night if we need to raise our game at any stage during the season.”

For now, the Wrexham players will be focused on coming through pre-season unscathed and at the peak of fitness.

Hughes is hoping to make pre-season - not every players favourite time of year - as enjoyable as possible.

“There will be an element of running because they’ve had numerous weeks off,” said Hughes.

“I’d like to think I’m a bit more modern in my style and a lot of it will be done with the balls and what we are trying to do in terms of formation and style of play that I want.

“You don’t have to put the balls away and just run the players these days, you can implement your style in pre-season training.

“It will be tough for them, but hopefully they can hit the ground running.

“One of the biggest things for me is that I want the whole squad fit and ready for August 1 and a couple of days before the first game.

“You don’t get any winners in the first week or two of pre-season, it’s about what you do at the end.

“It’s about building things up and looking after the players. I know it’s hard because I’ve done numerous pre-seasons and that first week, no matter how much you do in the summer, you are feeling sore at the end of it.

“It will be a good process to go through and hopefully an enjoyable one as well for the players because there were plenty of times when I was a player I dreaded coming in for pre-season under certain managers.”