Gulls' gaffer is pleased with progress made by new-look team
The idea of being paid to get fit and play football may strike most of us as a pretty cool idea, and thousands of children dream of being asked to do just that every year.
However, no job is ever as much fun as it might appear at first, and football is no different.
At this time of year, managers and coaches at Football League clubs, even after all their pre-season work, are still nailing down the formations and the patterns of play which will sustain them through a long season and turn a squad of comparative strangers into a well-drilled and ultimately successful team.
"It's boring," acknowledged Torquay United boss Alan Knill this week, as he talked about the daily attention which he and his assistant manager Chris Brass are currently giving to their work in progress at Plainmoor.
"But it has to be done, and it's up to us as coaches to keep coming up with something different in training and make it interesting, so the players buy into it.
"Even in a small-sided game, there should still be a shape to that."
Knill explained: "Our whole squad is a new unit, in a way – we have new combinations all over the team.
"We have new pairings at centre-back, between the full-backs and the wingers, in the middle of midfield and definitely up front.
"There are certain things that I expect that are really important, like our shape out of possession. That gives you a platform to attack from – our first goal at Northampton last Saturday was a good example of that.
"You go from being a tight, compact shape to have the freedom to play."
Knill admitted: "I like my teams to be modern, and sometimes I have to stop myself, because I'll see a team play on TV, see something that I really like and want to do it with our own squad. I'm a culprit for doing it.
"The players watch exactly the same stuff, and I want them to be modern in their thinking too, but you just have to be careful sometimes.
"I am difficult to please. There's always a 'but' with me. I always want better.
"Where we are now is probably where we want to be, or expected to be.
"I thought the two centre-backs [Krystian Pearce and Aaron Downes] were excellent last Saturday, against a tough team – they are slowly forming a partnership.
"The two midfield players [Ben Harding and Lee Mansell] were better, and the two strikers [Karl Hawley and Callum Ball] were good, especially in the second half.
"But we are still working on it all – and that never stops. You just have to keep doing it."
While that work goes on day in and day out on the training ground, the fans want it to look pretty much near the finished article even after four or five games.
Now that is the really difficult part.