COLIN Murdock is hoping to bring his experience to bear on Stanley’s young squad, after the Northern Ireland international was unveiled by the club this week.
The big Ballymena centre back is "delighted" to become John Coleman’s first capture of the summer, following his release by new Shrewsbury Town manager Paul Simpson.
The Reds’ chief is looking for a further five additions, having released 11 first team players last month - including Murdock’s fellow countrymen Sean Webb and Cambridge-bound Lee McEvilly.
Meanwhile two more ex-Reds Sean Whalley and Paul Carden will be reunited at Wrexham next season after Whalley was snapped up by the Conference outfit.
But Stanley are expecting John Miles to return from loan at MK Dons, and are still chasing 27-year-old TNS left back Chris King.
They are now keen to boost their options further upfield, although the prospect of the return of central midfielder Anthony Barry now looks doubtful.
Chief executive Rob Heys said: "We’ve got about eight defenders now, so we need a striker and a midfielder. If we can make up the squad with a few loan players that helps to strengthen the squad."
Murdock arrives on a one-year-deal to help shore up a defence which leaked 83 league goals last term.
A former Manchester United trainee, he played 180 times for Preston, and was 90 minutes away from the Premiership in 2001 before their defeat to Bolton in the Division One play-off final.
The 6ft 3in veteran turns 33 in July, and the 2006 World Cup qualifying campaign was probably the swansong of an international career spanning six years and 34 caps.
But Murdock, currently living in Leeds, does not accept he is in the twilight of his club career, after overcoming a double hernia operation which curtailed his 2006/7 season to play a major role for Town.
He said: "I would like to play as long as I can. I played over 30 games for Shrewsbury last year, but I think Paul Simpson came in and wanted to put his own stamp on the team. It was a very amicable decision.
"I’m very thankful that I’ve been given the opportunity to come to Accrington. The manager and his assistant are enthusiastic, and everyone is very approachable."
The former Hibs and Rotherham captain has played under top coaches such as David Moyes and Craig Brown, and that side of the game clearly interests him.
He said: "I haven’t had any coaching input and have no immediate aspirations of becoming a coach, but I would consider doing my badges in the future.
"I’m a pretty vocal guy. Half the battle is being able to communicate with your colleagues. It’s difficult to address the confidence issue if the team aren’t doing particularly well. It’s something you have to address individually and look after your own house."
Club captain Peter Cavanagh would welcome any help Murdock can provide next season, especially to youngsters like James Bell and Peter Murphy.
He said: "The goals against column put us under a lot of pressure last season. Colin played international football from a relatively young age and has a wealth of experience, which we’ve been crying out for at centre back.
"I am keen to learn off as many people as I can."
Cavanagh has welcomed the Carling Cup draw after Stanley were handed a plum trip to Molineux.
Last season Wolves were humbled by Stanley’s League Two rivals Morecambe in the second round .
He said: "Wolves are probably one of the biggest clubs we could have drawn, with a massive fan base and a fantastic stadium. But if they put out a shadow squad we’ll have a real chance."