WINGER Gary Roberts admitted it has been a turbulent pre-season for him - but now he is ready to make himself a hero again.

The 22-year-old was the subject of attention from League One side Yeovil who made a £50,000 bid for the highly rated wideman in June.

He missed the opening day of pre-season training and admits all the speculation connected with a move away from the Fraser Eagle Stadium played havoc with his mind.

"The pre-season started off all wrong for me," said Roberts who has one year left on his contract and is hoping to sign an extension.

"I had heard Yeovil wanted me and I took the first day off - and I was fined. It did all mess with my head. It was hard as I was having phone calls from my mates asking if I was going and what was happening and my agent was on the phone and it all went mad.

"It was all up in the air and I didn't have much to do with it really. It was all with my agent and I knew I just had to blank it out. I hadn't been involved in this sitiation before and it was all new to me.

"I came back to training and Coley just told me to get my head down and keep working hard and that's what has happened. In fact, Coley gave me praise and thinks I have done well in pre-season and earned my place in the team and that was really good to hear."

He admits once he actually got going on pre-season, he was made to suffer. "Pre-season was really hard. The training ground is quite hilly and Jimmy Bell's philosophy is run until you are sick so we did!

" I don't mind running so it is okay for me and Rommy Boco is the best by a mile. Julien N'Da's not the best though and the goalkeepers are always rubbish runners!

"I have enjoyed the friendly games though. I have played a part in most of them apart from Alsager. I liked the Partick game because of the nice pitch but my favourite was playing against Blackburn - all those Premiership players and they were quality!"

Roberts was one of the stars of last season and played a big part in helping Stanley into the Football League by setting up goals and scoring 15 in all competitions. "I set myself a target of 10 last season but got 15 so I wouldn't mind 15 again. It is going to be harder this season - I know that - but I will have to practise my set-pieces more too.

"I am going to make sure I take the free kicks this season and bully Ian Craney and Cav (Peter Cavanagh) off them! Coley was saying I scored four consecutive free kicks last season. I can't believe I can't remember doing it but the gaffer says I did!"

He also had a number of assists but, after Paul Mullin said Roberts usually prefers to get on the scoresheet himself, he says he won't be helping his striker out again!

"I am not going to set Paul up anymore! I think I had 20 assists last season and I must have set Paul up seven or eight times and I would love Paul to do well. He works so hard for the club and it is his first time in the league.

"I don't think he has ever scored from outside the box though. He says he once did but I want to see the video as I don't believe him!"

And it would be a dream start if the two could connect to set up an opening day win at Chester.

"The Deva Stadium is only 15 minutes from my home and I have been there loads of times but I have never played there. I am really looking forward to it as my family can come and it is a decent pitch and a good ground.

"I am also really looking forward to the Nottingham Forest Carling Cup match on Sky - I will have to get my hair done for that!

"I do like the television games and have got two Man of the Match bottles of champagne from Sky so I want a third to add to my collection.

"I think we will all be excited though about going to new places this season. The pitches will be nice and they will be some really nice new grounds and all the team will be relishing some of the away trips.

"But it is important we win our home games and get into the winning mentality like last season."