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THERE is a different feel around Bath this season as they prepare for the upcoming Premiership season.

This time last year, head coach Mike Ford had departed, club captain Stuart Hooper had retired and new director of rugby Todd Blackadder and first-team coach Tabai Matson had barely had time to take their shoes off.

However, a year on, and with a full pre-season under their belts, there was an air of confidence around the media day at Farleigh House and having come up just short in both the league and in Europe last year, there are some wrongs that both staff and players want to right.

Matt Garvey will be leading that project this term as new club captain and although reluctant to be drawn on any pre-season targets, he is keen to reiterate that it will not be a quick fix as they continue working on a legacy.

“For me personally, it’s completely different because of the role I have taken up but, as a group, last year was quite a difficult pre-season,” said Garvey.

“It was quite a difficult period because we didn’t know what style we were going to play so how did we train?

“This year, from the first second we walked in, they’ve told us what is acceptable and what is not.

“This year we have had the best preparation we could possibly have.

“We finished fifth last year and we looked at all the statistics and we broke it down and the three or four top statistics that get you a top-four finish, we were off in, but they were easy fixes and the other bits we were doing really well.

“If we can tweak a few more things, historically that gets you in the top four.

“We want to be successful but we don’t want to be successful for one year, we want to be able to be holding it like Saracens have done, like Leicester used to do and we’re laying the foundations for that.”

Garvey has been hitting the books in the close season, with the likes of James Kerr’s Legacy, looking at the lessons that can be learnt from the legendary All Blacks when it comes to leadership and business, having more ink in it now than when he first opened it up.

The 29-year-old, who sought the permission of his better half before taking the club captaincy at The Rec, has also turned to other iconic figures such as Alex Ferguson and Richie McCaw as he admits to his new role being a voyage of discovery.

“It’s difficult to follow people like Hoops and even Merc (Guy Mercer),” he added.

“For me, my focus is not to be drawn on comparisons with them and that I am still learning. I did a lot of reading in the of- season and a lot of research in what it takes to be successful.

“We spoke at the end of last season about culture and I said to Todd that I haven’t won anything so I’ve only ever been in losing cultures.

“I’ve not really understood what a winning culture looked like and it was something I needed to change.”

Bath travel to Leinster tomorrow night in their final pre-season friendly, with summer signing Freddie Burns expected to have his first run out in a blue, black and white jersey having come through his concussion protocol.