Alfie Egan used the word ‘exciting’ more than once on his return to the Kuflink Stadium to sign a new deal when asked about the task ahead for Dennis Kutrieb’s new squad.
The 22-year-old became the second announced signing of July, following Jordan Holmes’ return, and he has admired the ambition and intent already evident in the Fleet’s plans this summer.
“To come back for another year is truly exciting,” Egan said. “Everyone in the football world has had an uncertain time so to have signed for next season and to talk to Dennis, Damian and Steve about what the club wants to achieve, it’s really exciting.”
Zoom calls have been the order of the day for Kutrieb and his players in these socially distanced times and while that’s been a new experience for all managers and players, the new Fleet gaffer’s enthusiasm has been infectious.
“It’s a different experience online,” Egan admitted. “I’ve never used anything like it for football, chatting on video, but even that way it all came across as positive, exciting and Dennis explained his plans, what he expects for next season. It matched what I wanted and my ambitions for the year ahead as well.”
Egan is no stranger to the different levels of non-league football having played on loan for Sutton United, East Thurrock United and Kingstonian before arriving at the Fleet last season.
“It’s a good level and a surprising level,” he said. “The teams are a lot better than you might expect and there’s not much difference between the National League and the North/South. The squad we’re putting together that Dennis and Steve have explained about and the goals they both have, I’m certain we can do really, really well and really make a push for getting back to where we want to be.”
With Holmes already in the squad, Egan knows there’ll be a few familiar faces around and he feels sure that will aid the team in getting off to a strong start.
“We had a great group last season,” he said. “Everyone got along and we pulled together to make something happen but we started out a bit rocky, a bit mix and match and it didn’t quite click. We didn’t really have the time to bond to show what we could do and were playing catch-up.
“But next year, with a few players who know each other and a few new faces too, and with all of us on the same page, with the same idea of how we’re going to approach the games and the season, the idea is to really click, do it early and really push on.”
Like all players, Egan has had to stay fresh and fit without a gym or a training pitch but he says he feels fitter than ever ahead of any green-light for football recommencing.
“I’m not sure when we’ll be back, September time is thrown around a bit, but hopefully it won’t be too long before the league does restart and we can get the ball rolling again. I’ve been doing quite a bit to be fair to keep myself occupied. I’ve been doing a few 5Ks like most players, a lot of runs and been getting the football back out in the last week or so. So I’ve been able to train which has been good and because all you can do is really go off and run, I’m probably the fittest I’ve been in a while too!”