John Coleman knows his side will be back favourites for relegation next season – but that does not faze him.
Stanley were regularly predicted by the bookmakers to go down when they were in League Two but upset the odds to be crowned champions in April.
Now they are in League One and Coleman says his squad should more than hold their own next season – if not challenge for the higher places.
“We have to draw a line under what we did last season now and look forward,” said the Stanley boss. “We have had our moment in the sun, so to speak, and now we have got to get on with the business of next season.
“To all extents and purposes, we are yesterday’s news and the focus is on League One.
“We will go into League One in a similar predicament to last season, on one of the lowest budgets and so on, but I know this squad and know I have players who are hungry to prove themselves again.
“It is always good if you have players with something to prove or something to fight for and then you have got a chance.
“We are not going in to try and stay up. We have to take inspiration from the likes of Shrewsbury and Burton who have done remarkably well on low budgets.
“I believe we can compete in this league and cause a few surprises along the way. These players have proved to me they can deliver, especially on the big stage, and I have never been so proud of a squad of players as I am of this squad.
“They have worked relentlessly from the start to the end of the season, they have been willing to work hard and give everything in every game. Not every player does this but every single one of ours did in every single game.”
It is an exciting time to be involved with Stanley as, as well as success off the pitch, a new stand is being built at the Wham Stadium with the pitch also being renovated.
“We have new floodlights, a new stand and being able to do the pitch earlier gives us a head start. I think the pitch will be the best it has ever been this season,” added Coleman.