John Coleman admits Adams Park holds special memories for him – and he wants to create more as Accrington Stanley kick off their Sky Bet League One opener at Wycombe Wanderers.
Wycombe were relegated from the Championship last season after being promoted via Wembley the season before.
Gareth Ainsworth’s side will be looking to bounce straight back but the Reds boss will be going there to upset them early on, especially as Stanley have a great record in Buckinghamshire.
Of the 12 games at Adams Park, the Reds have lost just once in the league.
Games which stand out at Wycombe include a 1-0 win in the penultimate game of the regular season in 2015/16 where Stanley eventually lost in the Play-Offs to AFC Wimbledon.
Then there was a 4-0 win four games before the end of the 2017/28 season when Stanley went on to crowned League Two champions.
“I am always excited about football,” said the Reds boss. “You have got to be prepared to do the hard work and hopefully you get the rewards your labour has earned.
“There are no guarantees in football, you can only do your best, and there is still a way to go for our preparations but I am pleased with the way it’s been going.
“The first day of the season is always special for me, I used to love it as a player, it was always kind to me as I nearly always used to score.
“It’s the thrill of it coming back as you haven’t been playing and this season, it’s the added bonus of the crowds. This is like playing football for the first time in two years really and it’s going to be exciting.
“Gareth has done really well in his tenure there and surprised a lot of people but he didn’t surprise me. I think people within the game know when teams are starting to click and he will be under no illusions how hard it will be this season as it will be for us all but you have to go there trying to win. I will set my team out to win and we will work hard as we can to try and win.
“I always get goosebumps from when we played at Wycombe in 2015/16, when we had that charge up the league and nearly got promoted.
“All our fans were waiting in the car park when we played them, the atmosphere was outstanding and it was a fantastic day and hopefully we can have a repeat of that.”
Coleman has added Harry Pell, John O’Sullivan, goalkeeper James Trafford and Burnley striker Joel Mumbongo to his squad along with a host of Under 23s who are pushing for a first team place.
Captain Seamus Conneely will miss out in the early stages through injury.
“People may think we have made a lot of signings but a lot are the Under 23s and for the future although there are some who will be involved in the first team," continued Coleman.
“I have kept a couple of slots open so I can see what we need and maybe add in the window but I am pleased with the squad.
“The lads who have come in, you would think they had been here 10 years, certainly Harry Pell, he has taken over Sean McConville’s mantle of running the club!
“You need someone like that in the changing rooms, he is a good influence on the players and he has now got to transform it onto performances on the pitch.
“We know what we are going to get from John O’Sullivan, he works his socks off, he won’t leave anything out there. He will try his hardest and he has got ability. We have had a habit of getting the best out of Johnno.
“James Trafford is a good lad, just speaking to him on a daily basis, he feels he is learning every day, getting better, and obviously the mental aspect, he has got good players to learn from.
“It is a big blow losing the skipper and Seamus was outstanding last year and he will be working hard to get back fit as soon as possible.”
The full pre-match interview video with John Coleman is available to watch on the club's official YouTube channel, CLICK HERE to find out more!