Mansfield Town striker Liam Hearn says he is delighted to have got his first 90 minutes of pre-season under his belt.
Hearn played the full match during a behind closed doors friendly against Derby County on Tuesday, which Mansfield won 4-3 after initially trailing 3-0.
The run-out will significantly boost Hearn’s fitness levels as he battles for a place in the starting eleven against Northampton on Saturday.
Said Hearn: “I was very pleased to have played the full 90 minutes. The boss was going to take me off after an hour but I asked him to stick with me and see how I went and I got through the first 90.
“I know whether something is just uncomfortable and I can play on or whether there is pain and I should not push it.
“I am over my injuries now and can’t wait to get going. It is all about playing as many games as I can and enjoying myself this season.
“Being at Mansfield is ideal for me as it is on my doorstep. I can drop my daughter off at nursery before training and can be with my family afterwards.
“My friends and family can come and watch me play and that is perfect. I am very relaxed at Mansfield.
“I have got a good team behind me with the boss and physio and I am ready to go, but it is important not to get ahead of myself,
“Pre-season has gone as well as we could have hoped for and I am going to relish making my Football League debut when that happens. I can’t wait for the season to start.”
The former Eastwood Town star signed for Mansfield in June in a bid to solve the goalscoring problems which plagued Stags’ last season.
Hearn has already become an instant hit with the Field Mill faithful after bagging a memorable brace on his debut against Leeds United.
Hearn hit a superb 29 goals for Grimsby during the 2011/12 campaign,
But the former Alfreton Town striker had his Grimsby contract cancelled by mutual consent after he asked to leave the club following a series of injuries that meant he made only 15 appearances during the 2013/14 season.
Mansfield Town scored just 49 goals in League Two last season and will be looking for a big improvement this time around.