CHIPPENHAM Town manager Mark Collier says his squad are itching to get onto the pitch on Saturday as they head to Frome Town for their opening pre-season fixture.

The Bluebirds have been back in pre-season training for just under two weeks, as they prepare their inaugural National League campaign.

The Chippenham manager is now looking forward to cranking their preparation up a gear as they set their sights on their opening day clash with Havant & Waterlooville on Saturday, August 5.

“There is only so much you can do on the training ground. The players have come back in good shape fitness-wise, obviously we still have a few weeks until the big start so we are fine tuning,” said Collier.

“The players are only going to get fitter as time goes on, we have been doing three sessions a week, but there is nothing like game time and there is nothing like match fitness either.

“It’s important to get players out on the pitch. Initially it will be a case of mixing and matching because we have a relatively large squad.”

The club also announced the signing of former Farnborough Town midfielder Scott Donnelly last Saturday.

Collier believes the 29-year-old attacking midfielder will be a good acquisition for the club ahead of the new campaign.

“We were aware of him a little time ago and I spoke to Andy Sandell about him, because he played with him at Newport County,” added Collier.

“He had very good things to say about him. So he has come in, joined in particularly well and integrated very quickly.

“He is obviously a talented midfielder so he is only going to help our cause.”

With a squad of around 22, Collier refuses to rule out the possibility of more fresh faces at Hardenhuish Park, with several trailists currently around the squad.

“We have two or three trialists, they will get some game time at the weekend, so we will see how they go,” he said.

“There are still a couple away and there may be a couple of additions before the start of the season, which we are currently working on.

“We are going in the right direction, moral is good, the lads are still on a bit of a high from the end of the season but we know we have to be better than we were last year.”