Having reached the third round of this season's FA Youth Cup, made his first team debut and helped the Under-23s secure the Central League title, defender Aaron Pickles is determined to end the 2022/23 campaign on a high and captain Ged Brannan and Scott Rogers' Accrington Stanley Under-18s side to a league and cup double.
After winning at Hartlepool United and Bolton Wanderers in rounds one and two, the Reds suffered late heartbreak in a 3-2 defeat to Leeds United and a month later, Pickles made his professional debut as a second half substitute against The Whites in the fourth round of the Emirates FA Cup, live on BBC One.
"If somebody had told me that I'd be making my first team debut against Leeds at the start of the season, I probably wouldn't have believed them.
"I didn't really expect it, so I just took each game, week and month as they came, and I was just over the moon to make my debut in such a big game."
The 18-year-old was then named in John Coleman's starting XI to face Port Vale, with last year's Under-18s captain, Connor O'Brien, also making his first team debut as the pair finished the game as part of a Stanley defence that secured a point at Vale Park, despite having 10 men.
"It was unbelievable, me and Connor spent so much time together last season, so for him to make his debut and for me to make my league debut in the same game was a good feeling.
"We were both on the bench together at Crawley Town in the Emirates FA Cup first round and were hoping to make our debuts then, but it was an unreal occasion at Vale Park."
Stanley Under-18s, who face Preston North End in the Lancashire FA Youth Cup final tomorrow evening, 7.30pm kick-off, can still win the Youth Alliance League and the former Blackburn Rovers youngster is hoping to cap off a remarkable year for the club's Academy with more silverware.
"It's an absolutely massive game, a huge game for the lads and we know how much, both individually and as a team, it would mean to beat Preston in the final.
"Hopefully we manage to put in a performance that we know we're capable of; it's not realistic to think that everyone is going to be given a new deal or a pro contract, so to be able to achieve such a big thing would be a good finish to everyone's two years at the club."
Supporters are welcome to attend the match at the County Ground, Leyland (cash only):
- Adults - £6
- Concessions - £3