Andy returns to Accrington as player and joins Man City as youth physio
ANDY PROCTER may have earned a big move to Premier League champions Manchester City off the pitch, but he says Accrington Stanley remain his sole focus on it.
Stanley boss James Beattie swooped on deadline day to secure the services of the 31-year-old midfielder, who had previously spent ten years at the Crown Ground.
In his time away – first with Preston and most recently Bury – Procter graduated with a physiotherapy degree and completed a work placement at Manchester City, working with the club’s academy players.
Procter is in no doubt his football career comes first for now, but knows the career he wants to pursue next – particularly as Stanley physio Paul Morgan was one of his class-mates at Salford University.
“The long-term goal is to go into physiotherapy, though it’s becoming as competitive for jobs as pro football,” said Procter.
“I have been working at the Manchester City academy. It’s unbelievable how much I’ve learned and how they have helped me develop.
“I try and keep out of the Paul Morgan’s room at Accrington though because I’ve learned that injuries seem to be contagious!”
Procter spent almost two years away from Stanley, but remained living in Accrington throughout his time with Preston and Bury.
John Coleman was Stanley boss throughout the England C international Procter’s decade-long spell in which he made more than 400 appearances for the club.
Now Beattie is in charge and Procter says: “I had my first training session on Thursday, so it’s difficult for me to compare James Beattie with John Coleman. But from first impressions you can tell instantly how professional he is.
“From instilling a certain way of playing, to ensuring we’re all eating right, he knows what it takes.
“He’s trying to do everything right from top to bottom. Accrington Stanley get unfairly labelled as a Non-League club, but we’re an established Football League club moving in the right direction.
“Since I’ve been away they’ve relaid the pitch. The season I left they had terrible problems with the drainage, but now you wouldn’t think it was the same stadium.”
Procter played once against Accrington for Bury last season – the Shakers winning 3-0.
He was not involved as the pair met again last week when Bury triumphed 2-1, but Procter saw enough to convince he had made the right move.
“Accrington were the better team,” he said. “They were comfortable for 60 to 70 minutes and although they ended up losing, if the performances continue like that the results will come.”
FIGHTING FIT: Andy Procter is back at Accrington Stanley