Conor McAleny, screenshot from Zoom interview

Salford City newcomer, Conor McAleny, is looking forward to getting the new Sky Bet League Two season underway in just three days’ time.

Excitement is building in the Salford camp ahead of their opening day fixture on Saturday against Leyton Orient at the Peninsula Stadium.

The Ammies have impressed in pre-season winning three out of the four games played, including a 2-1 victory over Wayne Rooney’s Derby County.

Although pre-season has been tough, McAleny admits he has enjoyed the challenge and has had no problems settling in.

He said: “It’s gone really well, it’s been tough, challenging and yeah it’s been enjoyable as well.

“I think the gaffer has been really good and as I said the lads are a good set of lads and it’s made it easy for us new players to settle in.

“I’ve played against a lot of the lads previously and I’ve played with a couple of them as well previously.

“As I said it’s genuinely a good set of lads, you can feel that the minute you step in the door and being around them, so as I said I have had no problems settling in and long may that continue.”

McAleny is a product of Everton’s academy and now, at the age of 28, is amongst several new signings through the door already this transfer window.

On his arrival at Salford, manager Gary Bowyer admitted McAleny was someone he had been looking at since the age of 16 when he was coming through the ranks at the Merseyside club – something which fills him with confidence.

The 28-year-old said: “It’s obviously great getting compliments like that, and I’ve played against his teams quite a few times over the years and yeah I’m looking forward to working with him to be fair.”

Last season Salford finished eighth overall and missed out on any chance of securing promotion to Sky Bet League One, while McAleny had one of his most successful seasons to date scoring 21 goals and finishing as Oldham’s top scorer.

Talking about the goals for the upcoming season, the striker had just one outcome on his mind, saying:

“The perfect situation is score 20 goals and get automatic promotion, that is the perfect scenario.”

McAleny likes to take each game at a time but admits he has got a few superstitions that he follows before each match, which is explained in the video below.

On Saturday, fans will finally make their return to the Peninsula Stadium for a league game for the first time in 18 months.

According to McAleny, fans give the players extra motivation to secure a result and he cannot wait to welcome them back into the ground.

He said: “I am really excited, yeah, I got a taste the other day against Derby and that was quite nice.

“As I say the full season with no fans is quite strange, you want to hear them, the atmosphere gets you going and it gives you that extra percent and they definitely do help, so yeah I’m looking forward to giving them something to cheer about.

“When you’re attacking with five minutes to go, and you can hear them willing you on, it definitely gives you that little bit more to go and the same going the other way as well defending – they are vital, and I think the lads are really looking forward to it.”

Salford kick off their 2021-22 campaign on Saturday 7th August where they will welcome Leyton Orient to the Peninsula Stadium.

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