JIM McNulty is not afraid to admit he has already visualised himself holding the League Two trophy aloft after being named Bury captain.
The former Stockport and Barnsley skipper has taken over the role from Craig Jones, who remains club captain and will be McNulty’s second in command on the pitch.
Manager David Flitcroft says the switch is purely tactical, with the 29-year-old centre-back better placed to organise the side than Jones, who plays on the right flank.
McNulty is also considered to be a more vocal captain, not afraid to express his views, something that was abundantly clear in his first press conference in the role.
“I do think about lifting the trophy - I wouldn’t lie and say that I don’t,” he said, setting out his ambition for the season.
“I want to be known as the captain of the promotion season at Bury.”
McNulty was nominated League Two player of the season in his first month at the JD Stadium, after signing for the club in January.
He is considered to be one of the classiest defenders in the division and perfectly embodies the passing style of football Flitcroft wants his side to play.
But the Runcorn-born player is focussed on leading from the back, and leaving his forwards to earn the plaudits.
“We want to be the best side defensively in the league this season,” said McNulty. “I want it badly and I know the gaffer wants that, but we want to excite the fans too.
“We want to be the best both ways and I think we can be. We have got a front four that is going to frighten the life out of teams in League Two.
“I want to keep the door closed and allow those lads to shine and go and score goals and get in the team of the season.”
McNulty joined the rest of the squad on the club’s pre-season training camp in Tenerife this week, where Bury are due to take on Spanish side CD Marino tomorrow.
Fans who have followed the club to the Canary Islands will be able to run the rule over a number of potential new signings, with former Barnsley and Celtic midfielder Paddy McCourt rumoured to have joined fellow triallists Peter Sweeney, Joe Widdowson, Joe Thompson and former Burnley stopper Nick Liversedge.
McNulty believes the prospect of even more new arrivals – adding to Flitcroft’s seven summer signings – just cranks up the excitement.
“I have been at too many teams, and so have a lot of the lads in the dressing room, where you feel like you are a run of the mill team and your club’s not moving forward,” he added.
“So I don’t believe it adds extra pressure, it excites us. I think we should just be going out there, shoulders wide, loving the fact that we are at a good club with a forward-thinking manager and chairman and flourishing.”