Padraig Amond is a bit dismayed he is one of the ‘old men’ of the Stanley team – but is predicting success for the Reds’ young squad.
At 24, he is the third oldest but he has seen enough in training with the Reds new-look team to predict that, despite one pundit saying not, you can get success with kids.
"I do feel old at 24 with only Bavs (Ian Dunbavin) and Luke Joyce older than me," said the striker.
"I am going to have to hope Leam Richardson plays a few games to put the average age of the team up!
"But what I have seen here is an ambitious, young, talented squad and we’re out to prove you can win things with kids.
"There is no point talking about it though – we have got to show it on the pitch, starting tomorrow."
Amond, who is keen to point out he prefers the nickname Podge to Paddy, has finally signed full-time for the Reds and is now just waiting international clearance to play at Southend tomorrow.
He came on loan last season from Portuguese club Pacos de Ferreira and scored nine goals, but still had a year left on his contract abroad despite being keen to come back to Accrington.
"I went to Portugal at the end of the season and there was due to be a change of president and the new president wanted me.
"However when I went back in pre-season, the president hadn’t changed. We went away for the first week of pre-season into the mountains and the manager said he liked me, my attitude and I had exceeded his expecations.
"But when we came back the president said he didn’t want me and that was that. I wasn’t allowed to train much with the first team and just had to watch a lot of it.
"I have had a lot of hassle, flying backwards and forwards but sometimes you have to have that to get to do what you want to do.
"Saying that, I enjoyed my time in Portugal, I played against some of the best players in the world and in the best stadiums in the world and I would do it all again if I had to.
"If the president had wanted me to stay, that would have been it, but he didn’t so I was able to negotiate a way out and I always said if I was to come back to England, this was the club for me.
"The manager, Paul Cook, was a big draw. He knows me from my days at Sligo, he knows my strengths and weaknesses and he knows I can score goals and that’s what he wants me to do.
"In pre-season he has put his own stamp on the club and has brought a talented team together.
"We are ambitious but it’s a case of looking at Southend and seeing how we do and then onto Port Vale on Tuesday. Over the season, though we want to prove we are a decent team."
Amond admitted he didn’t show his best form last season, despite scoring nine goals.
"I was playing all over – on the wing, even in defence and I don’t mind that," he said. "If the goalkeeper got sent off and we had used all the subs, I would be the first to volunteer to go in goal.
"But my best position is striker and the gaffer knows that and that’s hopefully where I will be playing and the fans will see the best of me."
Amond looks likely to be linking up with Reading loan striker Karl Sheppard, who he knows well from their days in Ireland.
"We used to room together for Ireland Under 23s and I know him from his days at Galway and Shamrock Rovers,"¿he recalled.
"There is a healthy competition between us and I think strikers are expected to score between 15 and 20 goals a season and the midfielders should pitch in with a few too.
"I have my targets and the management have targets for me and I do put pressure on myself.
"I think last season I came here and I was a bit naive, perhaps thinking it was going to be a cruise.
"But I quickly learnt a lesson after being kicked up and down by centre-halves! It certainly toughened me up and I have had to learn to handle the physicality of it.
"Now I feel settled because I am here permanently. It’s close to home in Ireland and I believe we can have a good season.
"I can’t see any reason why we won’t."