Jake Hibbs believes he’s at the right club to improve his game and is itching for the new season to start.
The 20-year-old signed a new three-year contract this summer after making 38 appearances last term, scoring once.
Hibbs has been highly regarded by managers and staff at the club since winning a trial competition back in 2013.
After his first full season of senior football, Hibbs is determined to build on an impressive campaign after shunning advances from elsewhere.
“I think there may have been (interest from other clubs) but I didn’t look too much into that,” Hibbs said.
“I really wanted to stay. I think I can progress more here than anywhere else.
“You’ve got to be playing at my age. I’ve got more to give and hopefully I’ll prove that.”
Reflecting on last season, which saw Hibbs have a spell on loan at Telford, the youngster said: “I got off to a good start but the team didn’t. We weren’t winning games so something had to change.
“But for my first season in the Conference I did OK.
“I went out on loan for a bit which always helps because you’ve always got to play. It’s no good sitting in the stands.
“When I came back, Jim (Harvey) had taken charge and he wanted to get me in the team as soon as he could.
“We weren’t winning loads of games, so it was all about results which meant it was hard to break into the team.
“But he and Tommy (Miller, former assistant manager) both showed faith in me.
“Tommy was more of an arm-around-the-shoulder person and Jim was more aggressive, but I prefer it when people tell me straight what I need to improve on.”
Hibbs feels he did enhance his game over the last 12 months.
“I think I’ve improved on my distribution,” he reflected. “I also gave away needless fouls and got a lot of yellow cards for no reason, but I feel I’ve got a bit more experience now and know how to deal with certain situations better.
“Playing in a different position helped as well. I don’t mind where I play as long as I’m playing but it also helps when you’ve got the likes of Kevin Roberts and Matty Brown talking you through the game.”
Hibbs is now relishing the start of the new campaign, despite Town dropping down a level following their relegation.
“I can’t wait to get started,” he added. “I’ve played a few games at Conference level so I’ve got that bit of experience, but I’m still only young.
“I was disappointed we wouldn’t be in the National League, but I thought about the teams in the Conference North, and there’s Stockport, where I’m from - they’ve always been a massive team to me.
“You’ve got Salford with all the things surrounding them, so there’s a lot of good teams in the league.”