Date: 8th August 2008 at 3:18pm
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THE Countdown is now definately on as the clock ticks on, on Friday afernoon, a glance at the clock and I see it is 3:06pm, 24 hours time and the season will be under way!

Go on then. How many of you are excited?

I know I am, ever since the full time whistle on Accrington’s 2-0 defeat at the Fraser Eagle Stadium to Bury, I have been counting the days until the new season kicks off. I have to say it has come around very very slow to me.

The last few weeks with Pre-Season pre-occupying me, time has seemed to skip past fairly quickly, when I looked in my email to realise I had requests to do some interviews and questionnaires for a newspaper and a few fans sites, then it dawned on me. The season is really nearly here.

So here we are, with Stanley having six new summer signings on their books, having turfed 11 players out of the Fraser Eagle Stadium in the summer. I have to say that at times I was getting very nervous at our lack of transfer activity, then all at once, bang, we have a number of fantastic League Two signings.

Paul Mullin’s brother John has joined on a free transfer from Tranmere Rovers which is an excellent coup for Stanley, considering that he arrives with a vast experience of both Football League and Premiership football under his belt.

Jimmy Ryan joined from Shrewsbury in what will also be a magnificent signing in the long run. The former Liverpool youngster has recently been named in the Republic of Ireland’s Under 21s International squad for the game against Austria later this month.

Just the one loanee has joined throughout the summer with Jamie Clarke signing from Blackburn Rovers until January 3. The transfer has seemed to have dragged a bit, as John Coleman initially made his move for Rovers’ Academy top scorer when Mark Hughes was still in charge at Ewood Park. So Paul Ince’s arrival held up the deal, but the young pacey front man is finally here and ready to kick off the season.

Chris King joined the club from Welsh Premiership outfit Total Network Solutions and arrives on the back of a place in the Welsh Premier team of the season, and comes with a vast experience of Champions League football, which includes games against Liverpool.

He will no doubtedly be lining up alongside fellow new defender Colin Murdock who also signs on a free transfer. Manchester United saw Murdock begin his career before signed for local neighbours Preston North End where he made over 200 appearances for the lilywhites. A further 300 appearances followed between moves to Crewe Alexander, Rotherham United, Shrewsbury and with SPL side Hibernian.

Folawiyo Onbuje completed the summer signings on Friday, signing just in time to make his debut against Aldershot on the opening day of the season should he get the nod from gaffer Coleman. The 23-year-old 6′ 6′ front man started his career at Preston North End as a trainee and has since had spells at Huddersfield, Barnsley, Peterborough, Cambridge, Swindon, Brentford, Wycombe and Shrewsbury.

Roll on Aldershot on Saturday at the Fraser Eagle Stadium. Full match report will appear on Vital Stanley at the final whistle.