ACCRINGTON Stanley boss John Coleman hopes to make his first summer signing in the next week as he looks forward to life in the Football League.
The Conference winning manager aims to have a League One midfielder at the newly named Fraser Eagle Stadium soon.
And he is willing this deal to go through after missing out on two potential targets.
"I have one or two irons in the fire and I hope to sign a League One midfielder and secure the deal this week," said Coleman.
"I am disappointed as I was confident of signing midfielder Stuart Drummond from Chester but it looks like he has gone to Shrewsbury which is a blow but you have just got to get on with it.
"I also enquired about York striker Andy Bishop but I was relying on his agent and he wasn't involved in the move which took Andy to Bury and so I missed out again. His agent rung to apologise and that was a disappointment.
"But there are plenty of players out there. There are lists of 500 or 600 players who have been released but there are always reasons behind it - they are either not good enough or they want too much money.
"I am sure, though, there are some gems in there and it is up to me to try and find them.
"We won't be spending silly money, though, and rushing into any decisions, despite the new sponsorship deal with Fraser Eagle which is brilliant for the club.
"We won the Conference without having the biggest budget and I am not saying we can win this league with the same budget but we won't be foolhardy.
"A lot of clubs in the past have thrown money at it, bankrupt themselves and gone on a downward spiral. We won't go that way. It is up to me to get the best players possible on what we can afford."
Two players have left the Reds with Coleman releasing goalkeeper Danny Alcock and midfielder Steve Jagielka. Alcock is in search of regular first team football while Jagielka is looking for a club closer to home.
New deals have been offered to young defender Danny Ventre, who has agreed the terms and just needs to sign, while the club wants quick responses to contracts offered to defenders Michael Welch and Leam Richardson so they can start sorting out their squad for next season. Coleman is also still interested in Ivory Coast Under 21 defender Julien N'Da.
Meanwhile, the Reds boss is hoping to fight off interest from a couple of League One clubs who are said to be tracking midfielder Ian Craney who still has 12 months of his Reds' contract to run.
"We are lucky as our talented players are in contract so they are not going anywhere unless the offer is a very good one for the club or the lads themselves," said Coleman. "I don't mind it if my players are getting attention, though, as it means they are playing well for me."
But Coleman does have a headache with his goalkeeping situation. Charlton goalkeeping coach Keith Peacock has had his contract terminated following Alan Curblishley's departure from the Premiership club which means 'keeper Rob Elliot's situation is up in the air.
Stanley want to sign the 20-year-old shot stopper on a year-long loan and had been dealing with the club officials. The manager admitted: "It is a problem. I was trying to sort it out this week and it has obviously made it difficult. I need to speak to Rob's agent now and see what we can sort out."
Elsewhere, the club have confirmed the Football League ground inspectors are due a visit to Accrington on Wednesday to check on the progress the club is making in bringing the ground up to Football League standard. They have to have the work completed by the end of June. "It is going along well," said chairman Eric Whalley.
And Stanley now know who they will face next season when the fixtures come out on June 22.
By a strange twist of fate Oxford - the team who replaced Stanley in 1962 when they dropped out of the league - were relegated to the Conference with Rushden and Diamonds. Walsall, Swindon, MK Dons and Hartlepool were relegated from League One and will be with Stanley in League Two.
"It is ironic as Oxford took our place. It is a strange coincidence," said Whalley.
- STRIKER Paul Mullin has had to pull out of the England squad due to holiday commitments. "It is a sickener," admitted the hitman. "But it is probably the best thing to give my neck injury the best chance to recover over the summer."
Craney and Gary Roberts are waiting to see if they make the final cut of 18 for the week long Home International tournament at the end of May in Sussex.
- STANLEY have arranged two pre-season games. On Wednesday, 12 July they will face Bradford City and on Wednesday, 26 July, play Blackpool, both at home.
- SEASON tickets are selling well and are available from the club shop, by phoning 01254 356950 or from www.accringtonstanley.co.uk .
- FORMER Stanley player Brett Ormerod broke his leg in Preston's Championship Play-Off semi-final defeat to Leeds on Monday.
- EX-Reds keeper Jon Kennedy is through to the Conference Play-Off Final with Halifax and Ged Brannan was hoping to do the same last night with Morecambe.