FOOTBALL: NEW Solihull Moors signing Jermaine Hylton is eager to get his Vanarama National League campaign underway, writes Luke Turner.
The former Swindon Town man is working under Moors boss Liam McDonald for the second time in his career after previously teaming up with the gaffer at Redditch United.
And he believes his former partnership with McDonald has helped in settle into life at Moors quickly.
He said: “I think I’ve settled in quite well.
“It was easier because I knew all of the staff from before so it wasn’t like I was going into a new place. It was more like going back to an old place.
“I did think I would play for Liam again at some point. Probably not so soon but that was the main thing that brought me to the club.”
Preparation for the new season couldn’t have gone much better for Moors, who won six out of their eight friendlies.
Hylton netted four times in those games, and he’s looking to take that form into the upcoming National League campaign.
He said: “I haven’t just came to play some games and get by. I want to help push the team on and do something that nobody expects us to do.
“I have set myself some targets but I’ll keep them a bit closer to my chest for the time being.
“I don’t believe we should just be looking to survive. We have a very good team that I think is going to exceed expectations for sure but we will just have to see how it goes.”
Despite only being 24, Hylton believes his experience of playing in the Football League will benefit McDonald’s side.
And the on-form striker can relate to the tough period Moors went through towards the end of last season having battled relegation before with Swindon.
“Having been in a relegation battle previously I know what it’s like when things aren’t going your way,” said Hylton.
“I do think my experience (in the Football League) can help with this team.
“Sometimes it’s a case of digging deep and everyone pulling together.
“I definitely think my experience can be beneficial.
“Liam has made some very good signings and it’s almost a completely new team.
“We’ve been doing well in pre-season and we’re feeling confident we can push on when the season starts against Chester on Saturday.”
With so many new signings, many Moors fans pondered how long it would take the team to connect.
But Hylton is confident with how pre-season has gone – and is itching for the real thing to get underway.
He said: “I believe Liam’s methods are sinking into the players.
“When you have a brand new team things take time and you’ve got to learn the new systems.
“You’ve got to figure out each other as players but it’s coming along nicely.
“I’m really excited.
“In my last couple of years at Swindon I’ve struggled to get the game time I would’ve liked and anybody who’s played football has had those cold away days where you’re just sitting on the bench watching – it’s difficult.
“Now I’m just really excited to get playing again, scoring goals and do what I love.”