STOCKPORT step up their preparations for next month’s opening-day visit to Huddersfield Town when they fly out to Italy on Sunday.
Promoted County will stage a four-day training camp at Lake Garda with manager Jim Gannon keen to build on a bright start to pre-season.
“The players’ attitudes and application since returning for pre-season training has been of the very highest order,” said Gannon, who has signed Crewe goalkeeper Owain Fon Williams.
“All the lads have scored highly in their fitness tests, which just goes to show that not only have they not lost a lot of fitness, they’ve maintained their levels and all come back in great shape.
“We’ve no injuries, everybody is training hard and there’s a great feeling around the club at the moment.
“The lads are all a year older and year wiser now, and I think they’re all relishing the opportunity to showcase their talents in League I.”
While Gannon has snapped up Williams and 16-year-old defender Tom Baldwin from Irish club St Paul’s Artane, he is not panicking after main target David Perkins slipped through the net this week.
The Rochdale midfielder spurned Stockport in favour of a move to League I rivals Colchester.
Gannon, who has lost last season’s 21-goal top scorer Liam Dickinson to Derby, added: “We agreed a fee with Rochdale for Perkins, but we couldn’t meet his wage demands.
“We didn’t want to break our wage structure, so we wish him well at Colchester.
“There are certain areas that need strengthening, but when you write our team down on a piece of paper, all I feel we might be missing is a few goals and a bit of consistent creativity from the attacking midfield line.”