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The versatile defender admits that he is eager for pre-season to start as the Toon Army hope to build on their successful year with an assault at the Europa League

Newcastle defender Ryan Taylor has expressed his excitement at returning to the club to begin training for the new season.

The squad are set to begin pre-season on Thursday to prepare for their Premier League campaign as well as their Europa League qualification.

The former Wigan Athletic player has been at St. James' Park since 2009 and missed only seven league games last season.

"Having done so many pre-seasons you just get that bit more excited every year before you come in," the 27-year-old told the club's official website.

"Your career doesn't last that long so you've got to enjoy it while it's here, and if you can't enjoy coming into an environment like this then what job can you enjoy?

"Last night I was getting myself ready, making sure my wash bag was out, my boots, trainers and stuff like that.

"It's a nice feeling knowing you are going back to training. It's nice to have a summer off, but that first day back is also enjoyable as well."

Taylor admits he enjoys being tested and put through his paces and he even came into training two days early with only a handful of other players.

He added: "It was good to see some of the boys and the staff today and it will be nice on Thursday when 95 per cent of the boys are back in.

"There were six or seven of us in today and everyone seems to be back in shape which is good to see.

"I'm not really one who puts on weight, and if it is then it's only by the odd pound. My body never really changes, but I had a good summer with stag dos, a wedding and a honeymoon.

"It was a relaxing one and not really crazy - apart from the stag do!"

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