Paddy Lacey has switched from an Accrington Stanley fan to a Reds player after signing on a one-year deal.

Lacey, 23, watched John Coleman’s men in the run-in last season and was gutted when they missed out on promotion to League One on the final day of the campaign and via the play-offs.

Now the central midfielder aims to put it right this season after signing up to the Stanley cause.

“The gaffer and Jimmy Bell are friends of friends so I watched Accrington quite a bit last season when I could,” said Lacey, who has been at Barrow for the previous two seasons.

“I was here for the game against Stevenage when they could have gone up and I could see how much it hurt everyone.

“Hopefully we can put it right this season.”

Lacey is back in league football, following a summer trial with the Reds, after a spell in non-league. He was at Sheffield Wednesday’s Academy as a youngster, went to Bradford City under Phil Parkinson and then went part-time to Altrincham – where he also worked as a carpet fitter.

He joined Barrow full-time and helped them to the National League North title in 2015 and was there last season, playing in the National League.

“It’s a big move for me to be back in league football and I would certainly rather be here than fitting carpets!” said Lacey.

“It’s a big chance for me and I need to grab it with both hands. I know it will be competitive but I have settled in really well.

“I am not a shy character and I am quite lively so I do fit in anywhere. I knew Scotty Brown and Matty Pearson so it’s been good and now I can’t wait for the season to start.”