Wednesday 16 January 2019

Coleman hails Accrington

Accrington Stanley manager John Coleman Photo: PA
Accrington Stanley manager John Coleman Photo: PA

Carl Markham

Accrington manager John Coleman believes promotion to League One is an achievement which belongs as much to the people who kept the club alive as the players who performed on the pitch.

The club, who are captained by Irishman Seamus Conneely, secured promotion when a win over Yeovil guaranteed their place in the third tier of English football for the first time since the club was reformed over 50 years ago.

Stanley first joined the Football League in 1921, but resigned in 1962 after financial difficulties and folded four years later. They returned as a non-league club and eventually won promotion to League Two in 2006 with Coleman still in his first spell as manager.

But despite the financial difficulties that arise with having one of the lowest budgets in the league, Coleman, who had a stint as Sligo Rovers boss, has lifted them to another level.

"It's not just myself and the players, it is people behind the scenes who kept the club afloat when it was probably a prime candidate to go bust time and time again," Coleman said.

"That is a remarkable achievement in its own right. We've battled against the odds and people are getting the rewards of that."

Coleman has imposed his deep-rooted competitiveness - "Even if it's a game of Scrabble I want to win" - on his players and it has paid off handsomely.

"I am just looking for hunger, be it young lads who have been rejected from pro clubs to seasoned pros who want a last hurrah, I need hunger."

Coleman has already taken a look at what will face him next season and he admits some difficult decisions lie ahead.

"I've been looking at League One games the last month, I'd be lying if I said I hadn't, because I wanted a feel of what it was going to be like," he said.

Irish Independent

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