Enda Stevens says he was taken aback by the intensity of training at new club Sheffield United and now 'can't wait' for the new season to get underway.
Full-back Stevens signed for United on a free transfer ahead of their Championship return, climbing two divisions after competing in League Two with title-winning Portsmouth last term.
"The big difference is probably the standard in training and the intensity of the way the manager wants the game to be played and the way the players are bang at it every day" admits Stevens, who now realises what the new season has in store for him. "That was probably the biggest eye-opener for me."
Despite being just 26, Stevens has been around a bit, having three clubs in the League of Ireland before making a move to Aston Villa. Then came four different loan spells, two of those at Doncaster Rovers before a switch to Portsmouth. Taking all that into account, the Dubliner knows what it's like to have to settle into new surroundings
One of five new recruits for the Blades following the arrival of experienced second tier defender Richard Stearman from Fulham, Stevens says the team spirit that spurred United to the title in League One last season has not been hard to buy into.
"(The feeling of being new) only lasts probably the first week where you're new and you're fresh faced but then you just you spend so much time with the lads you just kind of settle in and its just a norm now.".
United have been back in training for a week now as the clock ticks towards the big kick off against Brentford at Bramall Lane on August 5.
Stevens added: "I can't wait still feels like its a long way away to go but I'm just counting down the weeks, we've got a pre-season trip to Marbella to look forward to and we come back from that and we should be close enough to the season."
The trip to Spain will only add to the spirit of the Blades squad and gives latest addition Richard Stearman a chance to show his quality in the friendly against Malaga on July 14th, a fixture that could provide an insight into how the Blades might fare in their forthcoming campaign.