Carshalton Athletic midfielder Sean O’Toole has returned from a lengthy lay-off in time for the new season and he cannot wait to be back in thick of the action.

The 22-year-old has not set foot on a pitch since suffering a torn abdomen on duty last November, but he has made five appearances during his club’s pre-season schedule as he looks to catch the eye of new boss Peter Adeniyi.

And O’Toole believes the new gaffer is slowly nurturing a squad that could go on to do big things in the Ryman Division South this season.

“I’ve just spent a lot of time building up my core strength and working on muscle conditioning – I couldn’t even strike a ball properly to start with - but now I feel good and have been concentrating on improving my overall fitness,” he said.

“It’s been difficult sitting on the sidelines, but luckily I’ve been able to watch the team play lots of good football over the past few months, and that is something I cannot wait to be a part of.

“The game isn’t all about power these days, you also need to be comfortable in possession and expose gaps when they appear, and we are being encouraged to play to those strengths.”

O’Toole believes Adeniyi has made the transition from teammate to player/manger seamlessly, and doesn’t believe the latter’s managerial inexperience will count against him moving forwards.

“Peter knows a lot about the game and has worked alongside younger players during his time at Dulwich Hamlet,” O’Toole added.

“He has also added to the squad really well by bringing in good players whom have gelled quickly with those who stayed from last season.

“I know I won’t be first-choice come the opening day of the season, but Peter has reassured me that I'm an important part of his squad and that I'll get my chance at some point, which gives me the confidence to keep training hard."

Carshalton open their new season away at Horsham on Saturday and O'Toole said, no matter who is selected, the Robins will be looking for victory.

"The pitch should be good for the first game of the season so we should be able to play our normal passing game," he added.

"Hopefully I'll play a part but it's exciting to know we have forwards like Tommy [Bradford], Mickel [Miller], Ricky [Korboa] and Brendan [Murphy-McVey] in the squad.

"Any one of them can hurt teams on their day and that'll make us dangerous opposition for the rest of the league."

Carshalton completed their pre-season campaign with a 2-1 win over Dulwich Hamlet last week and head to Horsham on Saturday.