ANDY Williams cannot wait for the new season to begin after spending eight months on the sidelines through injury.

The Swindon Town striker is back to full fitness following a cruciate ligament injury and, having played a large role during pre-season, the 27-year-old is counting down the days to next Saturday’s League One curtain raiser against Scunthorpe United.

And while he hasn’t found the target over the past month, the former Yeovil man says that he has no concerns over his knee.

“I’m desperate to start the season, I really am,” Williams said. “It is the hardest thing that I have had in my career so far.

“Missing eight months has been hard - it has been frustrating watching games but thankfully the team that we have got here - the fitness coach, the assistant, the manger - have all been good to me.

“It is a mental problem as well as physical problem when you are sat on the sidelines doing nothing - I can’t wait for next weekend.”

Any fears over the knee injury were quickly brushed aside on the opening day of pre-season training, as Raphael Branco welcomed Williams back into the fold.

“My first training session back, Rafa smashed me within a minute, so I knew straight away that the knee was going to stand up,” the striker said. “Then after I had a little word with him he gave me another a few minutes later.

“It was nice in way, I know that he didn’t mean it, but it was nice to know that the knee was fine and I could relax and not worry about it.”

Williams also said that he is relishing the chance of being one of the leaders of the Town side despite admitting it is something that has not come naturally to him.

“Being the oldest player by about four years at 27 is something that has been forced upon me but it is something that I relish,” he said.

“With Nath (Thompson) as captain and Wes (Foderingham) as another experienced player, the experience is spread out through team.

“Although that it is a very young side, there is enough lads here who have played enough league games to know what we need to do.”

The striker is looking forward to developing his relationship with Michael Smith.

“Being the experienced one of the two, it is about building up an understanding, what his game is and what he likes to do,” Williams said. “I think we are getting there.

“From a personal point of view the goals haven’t come yet, I don’t that I have even had a shot in the last two games, which is frustrating.

“It is something that we are working on in creating more chances for each other and I would like to think that we are starting to build up a relationship - hopefully it will blossom throughout the season.”