Kris Thackray admits he was “blown over” by Blyth Spartans fans during his first season – and hopes to use the upcoming campaign to repay them for their magnificent support.
The 31-year-old, who signed a two-year contract at Croft Park in January, is preparing for next season after the National League suspended 2019/20 due to the coronavirus pandemic.
But while the fixtures have come to an end, Blyth are yet to learn what division they will be when football resumes having occupied a relegation spot.
Though despite the uncertainty, Thackray knows one thing is clear – and that is the brilliant support of the Croft Park-faithful.
The former Qormi man explained just how big of a part they play as he spoke righting the wrongs of last season.
Speaking to blythspartans.com, Thackray said: “I was a bit blown over how supportive the fans were. They kept going and really deserve a lot better from last season.
“They clapped us off after every defeat, so I think they could tell we were fighting and really trying our best.
“The power the fans can bring to the team is massive. The passion is in Blyth for football – you can tell by the history of the club.
“They deserve more so we need to try and pay them back for last season and get the belief back in us and in the football club in general.
“That will take week after week – starting from the friendlies and first few games – we’ll have to build that back up. It is almost like trust – it’ll take time to get that back.
“It feels positive already after having a few chats with some of the players and manager. It’s almost like we have a chance to right those wrongs.”
He added: “It is goal number one to look at where we made mistakes and at the things we did wrong so we can cut them out immediately from the first training session.
“Hopefully that will bring momentum and a better mentality and an understanding of what direction we all want to go in.
“We didn’t have any time to waste last season so we have got to have that approach right from the end off to build, grow and stick together. That’s a big thing.”
But how has Thackray been keeping fit ahead of returning to action with Blyth – whenever that may be?
“I’ve just been going for jogs as I live in Tynemouth. I’m trying to get on the beach – I’m fortunate to live in such a nice area and take in the sea and air.
“It’s actually nice to be out there. I do feel for people who are perhaps stuck in the city, so I’m trying to take advantage of that.
“Other things like strength and conditioning, running etc – but there is only so much you can do without getting that football fitness which comes from training and playing.
“I am desperate to train again – I’m really looking forward to it.”