While some players were debating their Accrington Stanley contracts for the new season, Alan Burton was only too pleased to sign his immediately.
The 20-year-old, who came through the youth team with the Reds, admitted he was on tenterhooks as he waited outside the manager’s office not knowing if he would be signed up for this season or not.
Burton made his League Two debut in the final game of last season after an injury-plagued 18 months with the Reds.
But to finally get a one-year contract meant the world to Burton, who has shown grit and determination to battle back from a career-threatening injury.
""It was the best feeling ever when the gaffer said he was offering me a contract for this season," said the midfielder.
"It was a huge relief for me as I didn’t know what would happen. I was stood outside the door, really nervous.
"Now I want to get a good pre-season under my belt as I didn’t have one last season and then see what happens and try and secure my place in the squad."
Burton has been at the Blackburn and Wigan academies before he came through the ranks at the Crown Ground with Chris Turner and Peter Murphy.
"I was asked to go to Blackpool but the gaffer saw me in a pre-season friendly for Accrington against Rochdale and signed me up here."
He was sent on loan to Marine to get some match experience in December 2009 and was due back in Accrington in January.
"Unfortunately on Boxing Day I was playing for Marine and went in for a tackle and my ankle went. I knew it was bad, I was struggling and in pain and came back to Accrington."
He finally had an operation in April on his ankle but admitted: "I kept coming back probably too early and spraining it or going over on it so it has taken longer to recover than it should have done."
But Burton is a determined character and wasn’t going to let his football career slip away without a fight.
"I worked hard on strengthening it and I owe a big debt of gratitude to Marty Royal, who was our fitness coach, as he spent a lot of time and energy helping me.
"He has helped with my rehab, with squats and running and has given me loads of his time and, even when I was back training, he was checking on me and making sure I was doing the right things.
"It has been 18 months of pure frustration. I used to hate going to matches to watch and it was so frustrating watching people who I had come through the youth team with making their debuts and I wondered whether it would ever happen to me.
"I couldn’t even train and it was hard to take.
"But all the lads were great, especially the older ones, telling me I was only young and in some ways it is better to get injuries out of the way now as they heal quicker when you are younger and to keep my head up but work hard.
"I know how lucky we are to be footballers – it is the best job in the world."