Young midfielder Ben Osborn is relishing the prospect of his first full season with the senior squad.
The 19-year-old showed terrific promise after receiving the backing of temporary manager Gary Brazil towards the end of the 2013-14 campaign, and now Osborn is determined to continue his development under the tutelage of Stuart Pearce.
He told Forest Player: “It’s my first full season with the first team so I just need to go out and express myself. I want to have a strong pre-season and fight for my place.
“The manager has shown he will give anyone a chance by bringing some of the players up from the Under 21s and keeping them here because they’ve been doing well in training.
“He’ll pick the team on who’s doing well, not just the name on the back of a shirt.”
Osborn hopes to pick up some match fitness with a run-out in The Reds’ first pre-season friendly at Ilkeston on Saturday before jetting off to Portugal with the rest of the squad.
And as if competition for midfield places wasn’t hot enough, Osborn jokingly contemplated the difficulties the temperature in Braga may pose him.
He said: “I went to Switzerland with the youth team one pre-season and it was about 30 degrees. I was dying out there, so I don’t know how it’s going to be in Portugal!
“But the fitness coach has got all his data so if anyone’s feeling a bit leggy I’m sure he won’t make it as hard. It shouldn’t be too bad…
“It’ll be my first pre-season tour with the first team and I’m looking forward to it. We play a couple of games out there and it should be good.
“I’m feeling fairly fit – I think we’ve all come back in good shape and now it’s a case of getting match fitness with some pre-season games.”
Click here to watch the full interview on Forest Player.