Jake McCarthy exclusive on what promotion meant to him and how the Terras are hungry for success.

Amberley Silk (AS): Shall we start with how it felt to be promoted to the National League earlier this year?

Jake McCarthy (JM): The feeling of getting promoted to the National League, was the best I’ve ever experienced on a football pitch. I think the way in which we did it (through the playoffs) made it extra special. To top it all off, winning by a penalty shootout 3-0 was an extra special way to do it.

AS: That winning attitude has definitely continued into pre-season matches, how have you found pre-season so far?

JM: It definitely has. I think it’s a great trait to have as a team and something we’ve been used to a lot in recent years, which is constantly winning. I’ve found preseason slightly different this year due to the COVID break. We trained a couple of weeks before the playoffs and then we only had a 10-day break after the final, so we were all fairly fit when we came back. It’s very enjoyable to be back with the lads training and playing games.

AS: Have any games stood out for you based on individual or team performance?

JM: All the games we have played, I think the lads have had a very professional approach. Winning all 3 games, you can’t ask for much more. I’m looking forward to completing the rest of the pre-season games and bring on the season.

AS: As you’ve just said you’re looking forward to the beginning of the season. With the confidence and professionalism of the team building, do you feel prepared to be starting the season in a few weeks?

JM: Yes, we are very prepared and well drilled. We could start the season now and be ready. There are lots of pre-season games to come so we can continue to build up the fitness so everyone can play 90 minutes. Everyone is buzzing for the season to start and to go and show another league what Weymouth are capable of.

AS: It all sounds very positive and you can definitely sense the excitement and anticipation from the team for the upcoming season. What has the introduction of the new manager, Brian Stock, been like?

JM: Brian has come in and had an excellent impact on the group. He’s very clear on everything he expects from us and makes it clear on how he wants us to do things. Obviously, when a new manager comes in, everyone is on the top of their game, to try and impress and earn their spot in the team. Competition for a place in the team has never been better. We’ve only had one training session with Brian and Loui and I have to say it was the best standard session I’ve been a part of for years. The tempo and sharpness of everyone was spot on. Looking forward to more sessions.

AS: It sounds like there’s definitely a lot to look forward to both short and long term, however one thing that the players must be looking forward to is the reintroduction of spectators. You mentioned earlier that the pre-season schedule has been different this year due to COVID, but Weymouth’s relationship with their fans is obviously very special, so it must have felt a bit strange not having them there. How have you found playing without fans and are you looking forward to having them back in the near future?

JM: Our fans are the best, they are a huge reason as to why we’ve been so successful. It’s been strange playing games without them, when scoring, the stadium just feels quiet, there’s no atmosphere at all. There’s no roar that usually follows kick-off. I personally can’t wait for them to get back. I feel like they are missing out, for some fans who have been watching for years they need to come to games and watch, it’s a part of their lives.

AS: Thank you Jake, best of luck against Exeter this evening!

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