MARK BOWEN has revealed he cannot wait to get down to work with Stoke City’s players but accepts there will be a few nerves on the first day of pre-season training.
The 49 year old Welshman has joined the backroom staff at the Britannia Stadium as No.2 to new manager Mark Hughes.
The pair – along with first team coach Eddie Niedzwiecki – are working hard to get fully acquainted with the squad they have inherited before pre-season gets underway on 8 July.
Bowen is looking forward to meeting the players at the Clayton Wood training complex but reveals: “There will be a few nerves when the players report back – there always is; it’s a new environment and I’m a big believer that first impressions are important.
“I will be a little nervous and excited at the same time and no doubt the players will feel the same way as they are driving in on the first day – we hope they will.
“I’m settling in very well. It has been a hectic few weeks; when Mark joined the Club I was just in the process of packing my bags to take my wife and family on a summer break.
“I had the break and spoke to Mark a few times during his initial few weeks at the Club. Since I’ve been back I’ve been to the training ground three or four times now and have got a real good feel for the place.”
Bowen, who has worked alongside Hughes for Wales, Blackburn, Manchester City, Fulham and QPR, insists he has admired Stoke from afar and has had that view enhanced since joining the staff at the Britannia Stadium.
He adds: “I’ve had friends and acquaintances ring me up since Mark got the job thinking I would go with him and they’ve all told me that I’ve landed on my feet, so to speak.
“To everybody on the outside it certainly looks like a very well-run and stable Club and one that is hopefully on the verge of big things.
“That’s the impression I’ve been left with from the time I’ve spent at the training ground and from speaking to people here.
“It shines through that there’s a very real feeling that the Club can go forward and progress. There’s a steadiness about the place.”