BEN Richards-Everton hopes to reap the benefits of his hard work after penning a one-year contract with Accrington Stanley.

The defender has joined the Reds after impressing against Huddersfield Town last week during a trial and he featured in the weekend friendly draw with an Everton XI.

And the 25-year-old, who has had spells in Scotland with Partick Thistle and Dunfermline, is looking forward to the start of the League Two campaign having overcome an injury hit 2016-17 campaign which saw him sidelined with a knee problem.

“It’s been a hard pre-season," said the Birmingham-born centre back. "I was out injured for five months last year which is pretty much half a season but I’ve worked extra hard through the off season to make sure I was ready and I’m delighted to be here and have things finalised and I’m really excited about the season now.”

Richards-Everton is expected to feature in Wednesday's friendly against Preston North End as the Reds step up their preparations for the new campaign.

And he has confidence that John Coleman's side can push for promotion come August.

“It’s a very exciting time for me,” he told the club's official website. “I’ve been here since the first day of pre-season and from the off all the lads made me feel really welcome.

"The manager sat us all down and told us what he wanted from us for the season ahead and it’s been very positive.

“The club’s moving in the right direction and want to get out of this league and move up to League One and that’s a good ambition to have."