CHRIS BRANDON expects a few bumps and bruises when he faces his old Chesterfield teammates at the Galpharm Stadium on Tuesday (7.45).
It is Town's first home game since their play-off triumph and a first ever outing at the club's newly re-named home for Brandon.
Having left Saltergate only a couple of months ago, it's an intriguing match-up for the 28-year-old midfielder who is determined to make a mark alongside his new colleagues this term.
Already a scorer of two pre-season goals and in the squad for today's Coca-Cola League I opener at Stockport, Brandon commented:
"I've talked to a couple of the Chesterfield lads about Tuesday's match and they say they're going to kick me early doors!
"I know it's all in fun, but it is strange how matches against your old club seem to come around so quickly - wherever you move.
"It's a great game for me to look forward to, especially with it being my first ever game at the stadium.
"And I just hope that I'm involved, because I'm really looking forward to playing in front of the home fans here - the stadium is bigger than I ever thought it was - and with it being Chesterfield, it couldn't really be much better."
With Brandon's exit from Chesterfield so fresh in the memory, he will be up against a lot of familiar faces - even though manager Roy McFarland has brought in a number of new recruits including former Town striker Wayne Allison from Sheffield Wednesday.
"I'm sure that Chesterfield are going to do better this time than last season," said Brandon.
"While I had one or two ups and downs with Roy McFarland, I enjoyed working with him and I'm sure he's going to do well at the club.
"He has made some decent signings in the summer, there are good individuals there in any case and it's just a matter of bringing it all together.
"We had a better side last season than our finishing position would indicate. I reckon it was down to the fact we made such a difficult start.
"Drawing the first five League matches put us on the back foot, because while we were playing okay we weren't picking up the points we should have. We then went on a losing run and suddenly we were down at the bottom of the table. It's always hard to climb away from trouble in those circumstances, but we managed to do it by the skin of our teeth.
"I know they will be keen to make a better start this time, but we are also determined to make the most of our early games, so it should be an exciting match - especially for me."
Having figured mostly in the second-string during the pre-season build-up, Brandon already knows he is going to have to wait for a chance in Peter Jackson's starting line-up.
The former Bradford PA and Torquay player can handle that, but he's equally determined to stay in the starting line-up when the opportunity arises.
"The lads won promotion last season and I understand fully that the gaffer has got a good team here," said Brandon, who believes he can grab at least 10 goals from central midfield this time around.
"It will be hard to break into the team, that's clear, but once I do I'll be giving it everything to make sure I stay there.
"In that sense, it's up to me. I want to do well here and I wouldn't have signed for the club if I wasn't ambitious and didn't think it was going in the right direction, but I'll just have to be patient initially and wait for my chance in the team."
Brandon is confident Town can do well in a division ladened with derbies and in a Carling Cup-tie against Leeds United which has already set pulses racing among fans.
"As a Yorkshire lad it's an exciting fixture list and, with the likes of Sheffield Wednesday and Leeds to play in the first handful of games, it's tremendous for the fans and the players alike," he said.
"We want to make a good start to give us the platform to build, and with every win you just see the confidence grow.
"We are not short of confidence at this club in any case having won promotion last time. You can see it everywhere around the place and we just want to take that into the League programme.
"I don't know how long it will take me to get into the starting line-up, but that's where I want to be.
"The lads have made me feel very welcome since I signed for the club - it can sometimes be awkward when you don't know many people - and I've really enjoyed pre-season.
"This is a fantastic club, the facilities are brilliant and I'm sure we are going to have more success. That's why I want to be a part of it so, when my chance comes to start in the first team, I'm going to grab it."