ACCRINGTON'S new signing Graham Branch promises to be 'firing on all cylinders' by the time the Reds kick off their League Two campaign at Wycombe.
The 35-year-old has come to the Fraser Eagle Stadium with a wealth of experience but is playing catch-up after a lack of first team opportunities last season at Burnley.
But the utility man, who spent eight years at Turf Moor, is determined to make sure he is in prime condition for the August 11 kick-off and is keen to make his mark at his new club.
"My first priority is to get fit as I haven't played a lot of first team games recently and I missed the first week of intense training with all the running," said the left-sided player.
"I am also 35 so it does get harder but once the season starts, I guarantee I will be firing on all cylinders.
"I am determined to go out and play well and prove a few people wrong.
"Obviously I was surplus to requirements at Burnley and, at my age, I now just want to enjoy my football.
"I have played in the higher leagues for 16 years and there is a lot of pressure and I have dealt with all the pressure that comes with that.
"But now it is all about enjoying playing - and I believe I am the right place to do that.
"I am a really laid back character - if I get any more laid back it could be dangerous! - and I have settled in really well.
"They are a great bunch of lads here and I guess it helps that a lot of them are Scousers!" said the Liverpool-born player.
"But there is a really good buzz around the club."
The former Tranmere Rovers and Stockport player admitted he has been impressed with what he has seen at Stanley so far.
"I have been pleasantly surprised by the standard.
"I am used to the Championship and, not being disrespectful, I wasn't sure what the standard would be like in League Two having never played there. I wasn't sure what I was getting myself into.
"But, when I played against Clitheroe in the first friendly, I really enjoyed it and was impressed with the way we play.
"I thought a lot of it might be route one but it was nothing like that - Accrington like to get the ball down and play good football.
"I told the lads how impressed I was and it bodes well for the season."
He says he hasn't yet studied the fixture list as he doesn't want to get too carried away.
"I know it is an old cliché but I just take it one game at a time and I just want to enjoy myself and help Accrington challenge at the top half of the table.
"The games I will enjoy are against Peterborough as I am looking forward to playing against my former Burnley team-mate Micah Hyde and Chester, where it will be good to play against Tony Grant.
"But hopefully it will be a good season for me and the club. I think I have a few years left in me and I know I am capable of doing well ."
Manager John Coleman has started trimming the number of trialists at the club, letting striker Jason Walker go along with a French winger known only as "Aziz" and Northwich Victoria striker Tom Rutter.
"I have spoke to a few of them and I am sure they can play at a good level but not for us.
"I still have a couple more to speak to and I might take a couple to Scotland for the pre-season tour.
"I know we still need two or three more players - perhaps two signings and a loan deal to give us cover.
"Mind you, to be honest, we could end up with eight forwards!"
Coleman did deny Stanley were interested in their former striker Lee McEvilly who has been placed on the transfer list by Wrexham although the rumours persists that he could join either the Reds or League Two rivals Bury.
The squad are now prepared for their week-long trip to Scotland where they will face Brechin next Tuesday, Arbroath next Thursday and East Fife a week on Saturday.
Striker Roscoe Dsane will link back up with the side after his wife had a baby at the weekend and he missed the 1-1 draw with Championship side Burnley on Saturday and the 2-2 draw with New Mills on Tuesday.
And Coleman confirmed that two of Stanley's youth teamers have had to have minor heart operations in pre-season.
Winger Bobby Grant, who impressed on his first team debut in the final game of last season at MK Dons, and Peter Murphy have both been under the knife.
"As part of their education they had to be screened and both needed a minor operation on valves to their heart. It is very rare for two to suffer from this but both are okay and should be back in training soon," he said.
FORMER Stanley striker Andy Mangan has joined League Two rivals Bury while ex-Reds defender Mike Flynn ha signed for Radcliffe Borough.