Stanley boss John Coleman is hoping Craig Lindfield can copy Michael Symes’ example after signing the striker on a one year deal.
The former Liverpool loanee came to Stanley on loan at the end of the 2009 season and scored two goals. The Reds wanted him last season but the tight budget meant Lindfield ended up at Macclesfield where he struggled for to find the back of the net, notching just twice.
While Coleman knows the 21-year-old needs to rediscover his scoring touch, he is hoping he can do it at the Crown Ground - especially as Coleman has given frontmen Billy Kee and Symes end-of-the-week deadlines for the contracts they have been offered with the Reds.
Kee, released from Leicester and with nine goals last season for Stanley, is favourite to go to League Two rivals Torquay and the Gulls camp are expecting him to sign this week while 19-goal hitman Symes is believed to be in talks with a number of clubs. Bournemouth are said to be the leading the chase but Rochdale boss Keith Hill is an admirer of Symes and has just lost Chris Dagnall to Scunthorpe, where he links up with ex-Red Bobby Grant.
Coleman said of Lindfield, who was highly thought of at Anfield during his teens: "Craig works hard and has a good work ethic and is only young and is willing to learn.
"He had a stop-start career since he was released from Liverpool but so had Michael Symes when he signed for us and look what he did. We hope Craig can replicate Michael.
"I will be giving both Michael and Billy deadlines until the end of this week. It seems Billy will go elsewhere which is disappointing as I think he would have done well for us this season and you never know with Michael. It’s wait and see at the moment."
Kee said: "I have not made up my mind yet."
Coleman has also added left back Michael Hall to his squad from Blackburn Rovers on a one-year deal.
"He is another young lad and he played all Blackburn’s reserve games last season and we are hoping he can emulate Dean Winnard," said the Reds chief. Hall, 19, knows former Blackburn defender Winnard and is described on the Rovers web-site as "good on the ball with a wide range of passing abilities. His versatility means the left-footed player can play full back, on the wing or in centre midfield."
The Reds boss admitted priorities are now defenders and strikers with Darran Kempson rejecting a new deal at Stanley and signing up for relegated Grimsby this week.
Coleman said: "I am looking and it’s not all doom and gloom as there are players out there and it is just a case of finding the right ones."
In reply to a comment his assistant Jimmy Bell said about Accrington sometimes getting "the dregs," Coleman agreed.
"It is true but I think we are alchemists - we turn dregs into special potions!"
And Coleman also confirmed that talks are ongoing with former Reds keeper Kenny Arthur, given a free transfer from Rochdale at the end of the season although he does have one year of his Dale contract left.
Arthur is also being courted by Grimsby though who look the favourites for his signature and they are believed to be offering bigger wages than Stanley.
"The ball is in Kenny’s court now," said Coleman. "He is a good keeper and we have offered him a deal. We understand why he moved to Rochdale from us originally when there was a doubt over the future of our club and he went to a club that had a more realistic chance of promotion - and it proved right."
Coleman admitted he also tried to lure Ian Craney back to the Crown Ground - but Fleetwood won the race for the midfielder due to wages. Former Stanley captain Peter Cavanagh has also signed a deal with the Blue Square Premier new boys this week.
"I wanted Ian back and I have never made a secret of that," said Coleman. "He didn’t choose Fleetwood over Accrington, he chose Fleetwood’s wages over Accrington’s. You get used to a certain lifestyle and have to maintain it and I understand that. That’s life and you have got to get on with it."
The Reds chief also enquired about Bacup-born winger Mark Pugh, who rejected a two-year deal with Hereford at the end of the season. "We asked about him but I think he is on the verge of moving to Bournemouth."
But Coleman does have plenty of other irons in the fire and is keeping on the hunt.
So far, signed up, are goalkeeper Ian Dunbavin, defenders Phil Edwards, Dean Winnard, Peter Murphy and Hall; midfielders Jimmy Ryan, Andy Procter, John Miles, Chris Turner, Luke Joyce, Alan Burton and Sean McConville and striker Lindfield.
"We are just waiting for Michael and Billy to get back to us, Darran has rejected the contract, and the rest have signed up. I think, though, we need lots more players to be honest." said Coleman, who is working under financial constraints.
Meanwhile the Reds boss says he is not worried despite the club not yet giving him his new three-year contract to sign. The offer was made months ago but Coleman has still not had the deal to physically sign it.
"I am not concerned as it is the same situation as it was three or four months ago. I am just waiting to get it to sign it but it doesn’t bother me one way or another really.
"But there obviously has to be some reason at the club end why it’s not been done. Three years is a substantial commitment for me and Jimmy and the club but I think we have shown enough loyalty and commitment over the past 11 years."