Newcastle Falcons head coach John Wells believes the positive vibe generated in the dressing room at present will stand his side in good stead as they gear-up for the new campaign.
Wells, 51, who made the switch to Kingston Park towards the end of the 2011-12 season, is itching to get a solid pre-season underway.
“Like everyone I’m excited about things here,” said Wells.
“When you look at the bigger picture there’s a good atmosphere and a feel good factor around the club. Away from the pure rugby side we have a brand new Gilbert kit, season ticket sales are going well and the commercial side of the club seems to be growing.
“Together with the new signings Dean has made and the quality of those signings, there’s a lot of positive energy around the place.
“We know that everything revolves around results but at the moment there are some very positive things happening, and if we can take some of that onto the pitch then things will start to happen there too,” added Wells.
No fewer than nine new signings have been unveiled for next term with Wells licking his lips at the prospect of seeing the likes of Alesana Tuilagi, Calum Green and Ruki Tipuna in action.
“These things don’t happen overnight but there’s international quality there,” said Wells.
“Two years ago we said that we wanted to get promotion and we did that, and last year we said surviving was non-negotiable and we did that too.
“This year we have to be more ambitious, and that ambition comes together with the quality of the people we have coming in as well.
“There’s no doubt that if we get everyone on the pitch at the same time and play anything like the potential we’re capable of then we can give anyone a good game, home or away,” he added.
And the former Leicester Tigers and England coach insists his troops need to realise their potential ahead of the Falcons’ second successive season in the Aviva Premiership.
He said: “The players that we have to work with here are as good as any we’ve had to work with before – they just need to recognise that they are good players.
“At the very least most of these guys are Premiership players and there’s a top end supported by some of our new signings who are more than Premiership standard.
“Players here just need to stand up and be more ambitious than just wanting to play for Newcastle Falcons, but to believe that they can play for their country because they are good enough to do it.
“In many ways that’s the challenge – when I was here under Gary Gold all was almost lost and the guys played out of their skins because they knew that they had nothing to lose. Now I think the lads have to realise what they are capable of.”