MARTYN BOOTY has slotted seamlessly into Town's coaching set-up.
His infectious enthusiasm matches that of manager Peter Jackson and will no doubt impress itself on the next generation of home-grown Town products.
In charge of the Reserves full-time this season, the 33-year-old rarely has a smile off his face and he's keen to play a full part in keeping the Galpharm club on the up.
"It's all a learning curve for me but I'm enjoying every minute of it," said Booty, who began his playing career with Coventry City in 1989.
"I've always been a chirpy sort of character and if you are enthusiastic, I think it really helps in coaching.
"If lads enjoy the sessions then I reckon they are more receptive to what they are being taught and asked to do."
Booty, who signed a playing contract with Town last year, has his UEFA C coaching badge and will be focusing on the B grade in due course.
He's delighted with the chance to cut his coaching teeth working with Town's second string, however, and admits it's an unexpected latest string to his bow.
"I had never thought about coaching, really, until the gaffer mentioned it towards the end of last season and asked me to go with the Reserves," said Booty.
"To be able to stay in football is great because it's all I've ever done.
"If I had to go for an interview for a job or something, I wouldn't have a clue what to do and I'm pretty sure I wouldn't be able to talk my way into employment, so this is a great way to stay in the game."
Booty has enjoyed his year with Town and believes the successful momentum can be maintained.
The Pontin's Holidays League Division I East programme which started against York City in midweek offers plenty of scope for Booty to make his mark, especially as some quality players are likely to be available every week.
"It's not all about winning in the Reserves, although it is nice to have a winning mentality," he said.
"I'm sure some of the senior lads will be wanting to prove they are worth a run in the first team and, likewise, all of the younger lads will be desperate to show what they can do.
"It's their opportunity to come and play a man's game rather than what they are used to at youth level and it's their stage to say to the gaffer: look, if a place becomes available I'm ready to take it.
"At Reserve level, you've also got people coming back from injury so it's a mixture of everything really.
"It will be nice to have some strong sides available and, with Gerry Murphy and John Dungworth having some good lads coming through from the Academy, there could be a battle for places in the Reserve team as well as the firsts.
"The main thing at this club is that everyone is positive and there's a really good atmosphere. Things are going well and long may that continue."
Booty, who also played for Crewe, Reading and Southend before signing for previous club Chesterfield, has no plans to continue playing.
"I did the first week of pre-season training and was intending to keep myself in the best shape I could," he explained.
"But I joined in a practice match on about the fifth day, tried to turn and I've damaged my cartilage and cruciate ligament.
"I would have done all the pre-season work, but I think my body is basically telling me that it's had eight or nine operations and it doesn't want any more.
"I can jog about still, but I can't really stretch myself and check, so I'll have to see how things settle down."
The good thing is that it doesn't affect Booty's coaching work, and he's keen to learn.
"I will do the relevant coaching badges as time goes on, but I've got 17 years in the game to draw upon and hopefully I can pass on some of that knowledge as well," he said.
"I've always tried to learn from the managers and coaches I've had and it means I can use that to my advantage now.
"I have known the gaffer and Taff for only a year, but I think you know the first time you meet people if you are going to get on with them - and we certainly do get on well together.
"They are honest people. They know when to have a laugh and they know when to be serious and it works, because no-one can argue with the success that they've had.
"I watch what John Dungworth does on the training ground and I'm learning an awful lot from Taff.
"I suppose you could say I'm Terry's apprentice and it's great, I'm really enjoying it."