Rommy Boco is hoping to hit the ground running after signing a new one-year deal with Accrington Stanley.
The 31-year-old admitted last season was hard for him after arriving in February this year having not played a lot of games in the previous eight months.
But now, despite having two jaw operations during the summer, he is fully focused on the season ahead.
"I found last season hard as I left India in June and signed here in February and was straight into playing six or seven games in three weeks," said former Benin international Boco.
"It was really tough for me as I hadn't played for a while and my fitness was not right. I wasn't at my best but now I have a full pre-season under my belt so this season should be ideal for me."
Boco, in his third spell with the Reds, came on against AFC Wimbledon in the play-off semi-final second leg in May but was caught by the arm of Dons captain Barry Fuller, for which Fuller received a yellow card.
"Basically my bottom row of teeth came off my gums and I had to have two jaw operations - one at Blackburn Royal Hospital and one in France - so I missed my summer holidays and spent time recovering.
"However I am ok now - I won't need to wear any face protection."
Boco admitted last season's promotion heartache still hurts but he is hoping Stanley can get off to a flyer this season.
"Hopefully we can have a good start to the season and put ourselves into a good position early on. We know we could have finished second last season and been promoted but we can't do anything about that now and have to put it right this season.
"Players have left - that's what happens when clubs like Accrington do well - but we have signed some good players and we want to go one better than last season."