PLAY-OFF hero Lee Fowler has been told to prove he can be a consistent force for Town this season.
Just past his 21st birthday, Fowler played his first 90 minutes since February against Wakefield & Emley and was the major playmaker in an opening pre-season win.
Facing strong midfield competition already and with Chris Brandon's arrival hotting up the chase for places, Fowler is keen to build on his promotion-clinching penalty in the play-off shoot-out in Cardiff and earn a regular slot.
Next assignment will be to build up his match fitness further - he underwent ankle and hernia surgery earlier this year - when Town tackle Premiership Middlesbrough in a behind-closed-doors friendly on Saturday (1.00).
And manager Peter Jackson said today: "It was psychologically important for Lee and our other injured players, Nathan Clarke and Ian Gray, to come through the Emley game without any problem.
"It is a real bonus to have those three back and Lee, in particular, has come back buzzing and really looking forward to the new season.
"He had his ups and downs after signing for us last season with injuries and disciplinary problems, but he has adopted a fresh approach to things since Cardiff and scoring that winning penalty in his home-town stadium is something he will never forget for the rest of his life.
"He seems determined to use it as a springboard to make a real impact and Lee is a very good player, one who can be a major influence for us this season.
"The one thing he needs to do is produce his best form more consistently.
"There is increased competition for places in midfield with Carss, Worthington, Schofield, Brandon and now Fowler all pressing, but Lee knows he could be a key player for us with more consistency on the pitch."
Town head to Middlesbrough at the weekend with Steve Yates fully fit and just crowned the club's brand new cricket champion!
Having scored 12 runs from his one over in yesterday's light-hearted squad challenge, the 34-year-old defender was tied with Rob Edwards.
In the play-off, Yates then scored eight off just three deliveries to win.
"The lads enjoyed it as a nice little break from all the hard work they've been putting in," said Jackson.