Will Hatfield says it’s a massive season for him after signing a one-year deal with the Reds.
The 20-year-old put pen to paper on a contract on Wednesday and now the former Leeds United man wants to shake off the ‘supersub’ tag.
"I scored three goals off the bench last season and now I want to start games," said Hatfield.
"Every season is a big one but, for me, this season I want to challenge for a starting place, win it and then keep my place and hopefully score goals.
"If I am on the pitch for longer, I will hopefully take more of my chances and it’s up to me to prove to the manager I can do that.
"All I can do is keep working hard and hopefully we will have a good season next season and take it from there.
"I always wanted to sign although it has taken longer than I expected. For me, Accrington is different to any other club I have been at, it’s a one-off. It’s got a real family feel to it and all the lads are really close together.
"The manager Paul Cook is always positive; he never says anything negative, it runs through the team and hopefully we can challenge at the top."
Cook was delighted Hatfield has signed up and now he has Luke Joyce, Dean Winnard, Peter Murphy, Ian Dunbavin, Craig Lindfield, Ryan Hopper, Marcus Carver, Adam Stockdale, Toto Nsiala and Bohan Dixon all committed for his first full League Two season as Stanley manager.
"Will showed last season his ability for being an impact player and coming off the bench," said Cook. "He has a quality that he does take his chances, gets into good areas and has an eye for goal.
"I think his best position is just behind the striker and we know he has goals in him.
"From our point of view, him coming off the bench is a valuable asset. From his, he wants to be starting and it will be good competition for places.
"I am really pleased with the way the squad is taking shape.
"It is youthful and we need to add some experience but there will be no panic signings.
"A lot of the better players who are out of contract will have better offers on the table than we can give them so it’s a case of just waiting and seeing for us."
Cook admitted high on his list of priorities is a goalkeeper and another striker.
"Me and Leam (Richardson) are working hard but our inadequacies financially are well publicised and we know about it and all we can do is keep plugging away," he said.
"The first thing a player asks is about money, what he is going to be paid before he asks about the club, the pitch, the league, the situation and so on and we can’t compete with a lot of clubs.
"Obviously they may have bigger-money offers on the table but that’s the way it is. We are working hard to bring in a goalkeeper and, if you are a good goalkeeper, you tend to be at a club but, for me, it’s the most important position.
"Obviously football is about scoring goals but it’s also about keeping them out and we are trying to bring someone in who will challenge Ian Dunbavin."
Cook admits using the loan market well will be important to the Reds, adding: "We have the majority of players here who we can develop so it’s now about getting loan players in to complement them and perhaps add some experience. The loan market is vital to clubs like us.
"But clubs do want to loan out players for certain reasons so you do have to be careful – whether it’s to get experience, because they like the way we play or because the player is a headache at their current club.
"Loan players have to benefit our club."
The fixtures are out on Monday June 18 and the Stanley boss admits he can’t wait. He said: "I am really looking forward to all the games. I know there will be spells where we do well and times when we will not do as well but we need to be as consistent as we can be."
MATCHDAY squads will be back to seven substitutes next season, voted at the Football League’s AGM last week.
STANLEY have a friendly at Marine on Monday July 16 and at Padiham on Saturday July 27.