Defender Mark Hughes has signed a new improved one-year deal as he prepares for life in League One.

The 31-year-old has put pen to paper on a new contract with a one-year option after playing a big part in Stanley’s League Two title-winning campaign last season.

“I had a couple of enquiries over the summer but I wasn’t interested, I can’t envisage being anywhere else other than Accrington for the rest of my career, I enjoy it too much,” said Hughes.

“The club gets the best out of me and I am looking forward to the challenge of League One. It sounds weird but I think it will suit the way we play better.

“We also have the momentum and you do find that teams who get promoted carry on the winning habit into the new season.

“We aren’t here to make up numbers. We aren’t here just to survive and finish fifth from bottom, we want to finish as high as possible and we have played, and beaten, a number of the teams in League One in our past and we have nothing to fear.”

Stanley have kept together most of the side from last season and Hughes says you can see how well they know each other in pre-season, with Middlesbrough to come on Saturday.

“You can see we have been together for a while, we are like a well-oiled machine and we are all on the same page.”

It was a busy and rewarding year for Hughes who has also just graduated from Stafford University with a 2:1 degree in Sports Writing and Journalism.

“I am relieved my degree is over, it was something which took me out of my comfort zone and I am glad I did it. It was like going back to being 16-years-old but I have got to prepare for my future. It’s good to test yourself and do something else other than football.

“I fancy doing my UEFA A Licence over the next two years though so that’s something else.”