John Coleman owes a debt of gratitude to the Stanley Ultras who badgered Andy Parkinson at a service station about coming to Accrington.
Little more than a few months later and the experienced 31-year-old wideman is all signed up to Stanley’s cause for six months.
"Last season when I was at Gateshead I saw a load of Accrington fans in a service station," laughed the former Tranmere man.
"They were talking to me about signing for Stanley next season and I said I’d love to, but we’ll wait and see what happens. Funnily enough it’s happened!"
Parkinson – who boasts a Worthington Cup final appearance with Tranmere in 2000 on his CV - admits that, being at the older end of the scale, it is a dream for him to be back in the league after a mixed season last year and can’t wait for the League Two kick off against Aldershot a week tomorrow.
"I left Cambridge in January and then took about a month out when I didn’t play for anyone while I was taking care of a few personal things," he said.
"Then I finished the season playing non-contract for Gateshead in the Conference.
"For me it was all a case of concentrating on this summer and going somewhere to train and trying to make an impression. Fortunately enough for me I’ve done that and managed to earn myself a contract.
"Being out of the game makes you realise how difficult it is outside of football, especially for me as I’ve got a family. It’s difficult when all you know is playing football so it definitely made me hungry again and made me want to succeed."
Coleman has been forced to rely on youth a lot due to the budgets at the Crown Ground but Parkinson will bring the average age at Stanleys up and still has the hunger and desire to do well.
"As you get older you gain experience. It’s one of the natural progressions of football and if I can bring a bit of experience to the squad that’s great.
"Whether that makes an impact on the young players remains to be seen but if they need any advice then I’m there to help them. There are only a couple of experienced players in the squad so I suppose it does add a little bit of extra pressure. If you’re needed to give an opinion then you have to give it."
And he certainly has plenty of enthusiasm – just ask him about his pre-season goal for the Reds against Bideford which Coleman has been in awe of.
"I nutmegged the centre half and chipped the keeper from 25 yards!" laughed the winger. "I have been known to score the odd decent goal in my time. I wish I’d scored more tap-ins but when I score they seem to be decent goals so hopefully that’ll continue.
"I think my record in a season is nine goals so I’m not a prolific scorer but most of my career I’ve played in a wide midfield role. Primarily I’m a forward really but I can play as an attacking midfielder or a winger.
"I need to get into the team first and foremost before I set myself any targets!"