Middlesbrough goalkeeper Dimi Konstantopoulos has revealed that there is a buzz around Boro's Rockliffe Park training ground as the players return for pre-season.
Boro clinched promotion from the Championship on the final day of the 2015/16 regular season, and are preparing for their first Premier League campaign since relegation in 2008/09.
The majority of the players returned to action on Monday after their well deserved summer breaks, and the Greek goalkeeper says the squad have reaped the rewards of their time off.
Squad boosted by extended break
"We've had a good rest for the season," the Greek keeper told Middlesbrough's official website. With Boro not having to go through the Championship play-offs last season or go through the rigours of an earlier start to the league campaign this time around, their rest has been considerably longer than last summer.
"We all needed it, all used it wisely," he continued. "Now we're back and we're ready."
One of the veterans of the squad at 37 years of age, Konstantopoulos said that a summer of football had helped the players to unwind as watching the Euros "gives you something to do".
Boro did not have any representatives at the European Championships this summer, but Cristhian Stuani and Gastón Ramírez - who will hopefully return to the club in the immediate future - played for Uruguay at the Copa América earlier in the summer.
"The buzz is still around," Konstantopoulos went on. "We’ve all charged our batteries and are ready to go."
Boro to return to Marbella training base
Boro's spirits will likely be lifted further by the news that the squad will return to the Marbella Football Centre for a week-long training camp in the sun.
The club have used the facilities frequently since Aitor Karanka took over as manager in November 2013, and will begin their latest stay on July 18th.
Flying out two days after a pre-season friendly with Doncaster Rovers, Boro will play three further friendly fixtures during their time at the camp. No opponents have yet been announced, but it is thought that La Liga side Real Betis are one likely team likely to be lining up.