Sean McConville admits this is a ‘make or break’ season for him.
The 21-year-old, signed from Skelmersdale for a five-figure fee in February 2009 – the only player currently at the Crown Ground who actually cost money – is looking to make a big name for himself this season and follow in the footsteps of Bobby Grant.
Grant came to Stanley and made his debut as a 16-year-old with a lot of promise but injuries curtailed his progress until he exploded onto the scene last season with 18 goals which won him a bumper move to Championship side Scunthorpe.
McConville watched this happen and admits that it inspires him, and other young players at the club, to reach the same heights in their career.
Like Grant initially, McConville hasn’t been able to cement a regular place in the Reds side so he knows he needs to hit the ground running in this new campaign.
"It’s a massive season for me and I really need to get off to a good start. Hopefully I can fill Bobby’s shoes," said McConville, who scored once last season but was mainly on the bench. "He struggled, like me, in his first year but it only takes one good season and a few goals and other clubs do come looking at you. Bobby scored a few goals early on and that gave him the confidence to go on and I can’t see why it can’t happen with me.
"I trained with Bobby everyday and you can see he has got talent and a lot of it is about luck as, if you go on and score a couple of goals, then you can do what Bobby did.
"The problem is there is the other side that, if you miss a few at the start, it plays on your mind and you’re probably trying too hard to score then.
"With Bobby, though, he had a flyer at the start and that kicked him on.
"He has got his move now and he is doing really well, so hopefully that can happen to me and Chris Turner and a few others. We want to do well for Accrington but the gaffer encourages to have high ambitions too."
McConville admits he has been working hard on his game in preparation for the big kick off a week tomorrow at home to Aldershot.
"I have got a number of goals in pre-season so far and I am feeling quite sharp so hopefully I can take it into the first game. Pre-season is the worst part of being a footballer because you don’t really touch a ball for a while. It’s three weeks of running but I am feeling quite sharp.
"I want to start as many games as possible this season and hopefully that will give me confidence to score a few goals and do well.
"The gaffer has brought a few more midfielders in which, on my behalf, is going to be more competition so it can only make me better. I am looking forward to the challenge. I’m just looking forward to the start of the season, getting the first three points on the board and taking it from there."
While a midfielder, McConville has played on the wing and up front and he admits he doesn’t mind where he plays.
"I would like to play off a big striker, I played off Symesy a couple of times last year and enjoyed it. I can’t play up there on my own as I have not got the figure to do that - I will have to get on the weights!"
And he predicts a good season for the Reds after a bad spell in March and April saw them narrowly miss out on the top seven last year.
"The aim is always the play-offs," McConville added. "We would have done it last season but for that run of one point in 10 that killed us and perhaps it was tiredness. We need to do what we did last season and cut that run out and there is no reason why we can’t get in the play-offs."