Mathews halted Crolla in a thrilling battle to claim the British title in April, but he also suffered defeats to Emiliano Marsili, Gavin Rees and Terry Flannigan in a rollercoaster last 12 months for the Merseysider.
The busy lightweight signed off with two stoppage wins and is targeting a string of return bouts, starting with Mancunian Crolla.
Crolla's recent English title win put him back on a collision course with Mathews and the Liverpudlian would also relish a clash with Scottish world champion Ricky Burns after rejecting the chance to face him at late notice this month.
"The lads I really want to fight next year are Anthony Crolla, Emiliano Marsili, Terry Flannigan and Ricky Burns," he told the Liverpool Echo.
"I owe Crolla a rematch, I want to see what I will be like against Marsili with Danny Vaughan in my corner and I would love to test myself against Burns.
"The Flannigan fight is to put the record straight for Prizefighter and to see what he's like over 10 rounds."
Mathews was reunited with old trainers Danny and George Vaughan for the Crolla fight and he believes the duo have breathed fresh life into his career.
"I knew that if I was going to take this fight then I needed to make a change from the last camp," he said. "So, before accepting it I spoke to Danny and said the only way I would accept it is if he trained me.
"He said 'I live in Scotland now so you'll have to pack your bags'. He said I would have to live with him for six or seven weeks.
"I knew I had to do it because this really was last chance saloon for me. It was make or break because if I had lost to Anthony Crolla then I would have retired.
"But it has given me a new lease of life and having Danny and George in my corner when I won that night was the highlight of my year."