ALEX SMITHIES says Huddersfield Town’s Scottish tour will prove to be a key phase of their build-up to the new League I season.

With five new faces on board for 2011-12 – plus a more familiar arrival in Danny Ward, who was on loan last season – the five-day trip is providing a chance for the squad to gel on and off the pitch.

Town, having headed North on Friday, have been training at their base in Edinburgh, and will follow up yesterday’s friendly at Hamilton with another at Dunfermline tomorrow before heading back to Huddersfield on Wednesday.

“We’ve always had a good spirit among the squad in my time with the first team, and the new boys are settling in nicely,” said the keeper.

“Going away is great, because it gives us all a chance to integrate and get to know each other that bit better, which is always important.

“It also provides a change of scenery, and with pre-season training being hard work, it’s good to keep things fresh, as well as the chance to play at a couple of grounds where we would otherwise be unlikely to go.”

With the League I opener at home to Bury less than three weeks away, the 21-year-old former England junior international says he and his teammates are in good nick.

“We always say it, but it’s true – it’s all about keeping things on an upward curve and making sure we’re in as good shape as possible for the first game and beyond,” he explained.