Stanley’s Young Player of the Season Marcus Bettinelli admits he’s been bitten by the red bug after a campaign on loan at the Store First Stadium.
After helping James Beattie’s side secure their League Two status the 21-year-old now returns to parent club Fulham but will never forget his time in East Lancashire.
“I’d like to thank the fans for this award, I really appreciate that but the real reward for me has been coming here and getting games,” he said. “After about five or six matches it felt like I was part of this team and it wasn’t a case of me getting league games, it was a case of keeping this club playing league football.
“I’m very proud of myself, very proud of my team mates and the staff because we have done that together.
“It’s been incredible really. It’s been a bit of a journey for me personally; this was my first experience out in the league and it’s been tough. I came in for the Cardiff game, came into the changing rooms and didn’t know anyone. There were new faces, a new team and new surroundings.
“It was a tough start and everyone knows that but as individuals we came together, as a team, and got ourselves out of it. That’s what it was about at the end of the day. Everyone was in it together and got out of it together.
“It’s been a new experience for me and playing 40 odd games in a row without missing one is tough. The weather conditions have been tough, playing Saturday-Tuesday-Saturday is tough and it’s a league where you can get battered (physically) every week.
“It’s about digging deep, it’s about the end result over the season and we deserve to be where we are in the table. The result on the last day capped off a great season for all of us.
“I’ve said to a couple of fans that I don’t know what the plan is for next season but I’ve loved every minute of my time here. I’ll never forget this loan move and I can’t thank everyone enough. I have to thank the players. I only make saves when I have to and I’ve made very few saves this season because we’ve been so solid at the back.
“I’m going to have to go away and speak to the gaffer and my goalie coach. I’d love to come back here and who knows what next season will hold? It’ll be a different season next season with us (Fulham) going down and I suppose I’ll have to go away and assess the options.”