INTERVIEW: JAMES DUNNEFresh from signing a new one year deal with Cambridge United, James Dunne is hopeful the U’s can pick up in the new season where they left off in May.
The 26-year old played his role from midfield in an eight game unbeaten run to complete the 2015/16 season, as the U’s finished ninth in Sky Bet League Two.
Dunne already has his eyes set on the forthcoming campaign and is eager to help United re-establish their form to begin the season in style.
“Hopefully this year we can start the way we finished last season,” he said.
“We were all disappointed not to make the play-offs but it wasn’t to do with the final eight games because we had a great run in and gave it our best shot. There were a few frustrating games before then, Stevenage away and Carlisle at home when we just couldn’t break down the door.
“If we had won those two games, then we would have been in with a shot.
“But eight games unbeaten is a great record and something that we will be looking to extend at the start of this season.”
With Shaun Derry’s side now back into training following their pre-season return last week, Dunne is happy to have once again teamed up with a group he describes as extremely “welcoming.”
The combative midfielder added: “It’s a great group for the new lads to join, everyone is very welcoming and I’m sure they will settle in quickly.
“I obviously knew a few of the players before arriving in January. I had played with Mark Roberts at Stevenage and had played against a lot of them in the Dagenham & Redbridge match on Boxing Day.
“Therefore I had an idea of the type of squad Cambridge United and was delighted to make the move in January. Since then I have got on with all the players on and off the field.”
Whilst the early fitness tests are well underway and the U’s look to prepare for a series of challenging friendlies, Dunne admits he is already looking forward to the training sessions that take place throughout the season.
In fact the former Portsmouth man reveals that the sessions delivered by Manager Shaun Derry and Assistant Manager Joe Dunne were a real attraction when it came to putting pen to paper on his new one year deal.
He said: “Everything about Shaun (Derry, Manager) and Joe (Dunne, Assistant Manager) and the way they work is how I like to be as a player. If you have a problem, the door is always open to speak to the gaffer.
“Their training is always based upon the type of opponent we will be playing in the next game. That means that when the game comes around, we have no excuses because we know what we will be facing after working on it all week.
“I really enjoy the training, particularly the Friday sessions which are focussed on possession and takes us into the following game in good shape.”
The U's return to the Cambs Glass Stadium on Saturday 23rd July against Ipswich Town, followed by the visit of Aston Villa on Tuesday 26th July with tickets in-store, online and by calling 01223 566 500.