PAUL Mullin is aiming to be the penalty king this season and hopes these extra goals will steer Accrington Stanley into the Football League.
The Reds had three spot-takers last season in Lutel James, Ged Brannan and Lee McEvilly.
And Stanley's top scorer has now staked his claim to be the penalty hero in the new campaign after taking his first for years - and scoring - in the 1-1 draw against Premier new boys Wigan on Wednesday.
"The last time I took one was in my first year here against Bedlington Terriers and it hardly reached the goalline," said the vice captain, although the manager disagreed saying it never even got that far!
"No one has let me forget that and, as we don't have a regular penalty taker, the job was up for grabs. The reason I haven't taken them before is that I was just never known as a penalty taker and then I just thought I might as well.
"It has always been on my mind as I have got around 20 league goals for the last two seasons and penalties could add five or six extra goals.
"And I felt guilty after the Stalybridge game last season in the League Cup when Chris Butler missed the last penalty and we lost. He was upset and I know I should have stepped up.
"So I thought I should have a go and I have been practising hard - even in my back garden with my little boy!"
A few penalties would certainly keep hot-shot Mullin up among the leading goalscorers in the division and he is aiming higher this season.
"I usually aim for 20 goals a season but you have got to set your sights higher and this year it is 25."
And the 31-year-old is eyeing the Conference Golden Boot but knows he faces fierce competition.
"Guiliano Grazioli (Barnet) ran away with it last season but there are still a lot of top strikers in the league like Bob Taylor, who must be pushing on 40, but he got 20 goals last season and I am sure he will do it again. But Browny (David Brown) is a proven goalscorer at this level and if we both get our share of goals, that should move us up the league. We want to get at least into the play-offs this year and we should."
Boss John Coleman thinks Mullin is the man for the penalty job - despite being nervous when his striker stepped up to take the Wigan one.
"I wasn't confident!" he said. "But Jimmy (Bell) has been trying to talk Paul up for the job for six months. If he had been on pens last year, he would probably have got another five or six goals and I think goalscorers should take penalties."
Meanwhile Coleman still hasn't decided who will partner Mullin up front this season. Former Crewe striker Rodney Jack has been on trial with the Reds, looking to earn a contract.
"We will be speaking to Rodney this week and seeing where we are at," said the boss of the St Vincent international. "But that goes for all the triallists. We have got to make some decisions now."
He may have another look at him on Saturday as the Reds take on Conference North side Stalybridge Celtic at the Interlink (ko 3pm) in their final pre-season game before the Conference season kicks off a week on Saturday at home to Canvey Island.
Coleman is hoping the injured players Andy Tretton, Andy Procter and Peter Cavanagh will play some part.
"Injuries have hampered pre-season but I still think we have a strong squad and with one or two more we will have more quality and be a lot stronger."
Meanwhile one of the players who has impressed him pre-season has been left winger Gary Roberts, who has scored twice and caused chaos on the flank.
"Gary is probably one of the reasons why we listened to offers for Rory (Prendergast)," said the boss. "He has got a lot of ability. He is still learning the game but he's keen to learn and will listen to what you say and put it into practise. There is a lot more to come from him."
Roberts did hobble off with an injury against Wigan but Coleman said he isn't injured: "He is just a big girl!" he said.
- EX-RED Lutel James has signed for Altrincham and could face Stanley in their second match of the season. Ex-Stanley man Gary Williams is also there.