GREAT Harwood boss John Hughes is hoping his new look side can grab instant promotion back to the NWCL Division One.
The Robins finished bottom of Division One last term in a turbulent season which saw Hughes leave last summer to go to Chorley, and two managers come and go before Hughes returned towards the end of last season.
Harwood put up a sterling fight at the end of the campaign but Hughes couldn't stop them slipping into Division Two.
But the manager is now expecting a better campaign especially with a large number of additions - including ex-Stanley striker Damien Hindle, Ben Lloyd, son of cricketer David, who had a trial with Stanley this season and Paul Morley from Bamber Bridge.
"I think they are good signings," said Hughes. "Damien has played at a higher level but had an operation recently and is looking to get back match fit.
"And Ben has done well while Paul has dropped down a few levels. I appreciate the effort these players have put in and we are getting them fit and putting them in the shop window.
"They can help us and we can help them."
Only keeper Bobby Harris, Ed O'Neill and John Eastham remain from last season and Hughes has lost the service of a number of players, some of whom have followed former player Lee Sculpher to Ramsbottom.
"I have had to rebuild and the players will take a while to gel but we are confident," continued Hughes.
"We have looked good in pre-season against Division One champions Fleetwood and UniBond side Radcliffe Borough.
"I have always said you have to start with defence and we have defended well in all our pre-season games.
"Bobby Harris is consistent as ever. He has had a few clubs looking at him but he is happy with us and he does well for us.
"And striker John Eastham is back after having an operation last season and is stronger than ever."
Harwood also have winger Ed O'Neill in their squad - brother of Stanley's Matt.
"Ed has done well for me. He works really hard on the pitch and has got something about him and I respect that."
Other new faces include Ryan Fisher, Ben Howarth, Mark Beard, Gordon Watson and Michael Cruz.
And Hughes hopes to attract others with the added incentive of playing at Accrington Stanley.
"That alone can attract players and leads to a better passing game," said Hughes.
Harwood are homeless after the Showground changing rooms and club house burned down last year and Stanley have kindly offered their pitch for Harwood for this season.
The Robins kick off their season at Ashton Town on Saturday (3pm) followed by a home game at Interlink against Flixton (7.45pm).
"Like all teams we know it is important to get into a winning habit early on," added Hughes.
"We want to get a win under our belts as soon as possible and take it from there. There is a lot of local derbies in this league with Darwen, Padiham and Nelson and there are strong teams but it is like starting again for us."