Deal us in, Reds

Accrington Observer - - SPORT - SHELDAN KEAY

AC­CRING­TON Stan­ley man­ager John Cole­man says it was an easy de­ci­sion to sign a new con­tract that keeps him and as­sis­tant boss Jimmy Bell at the club un­til 2022.

Cole­man and Bell re­turned to Stan­ley in 2014 af­ter first man­ag­ing the club from 1999 to 2012.

They helped mas­ter- mind Ac­cring­ton’s pro­mo­tion to League One ear­lier this year, and Cole­man is ex­cited about the fu­ture at the Wham Sta­dium af­ter putting pen to pa­per on the new con­tract.

“It wasn’t a dif­fi­cult de­ci­sion, we have been speak­ing about it for the last six months. My­self and Andy Holt are on the same page, we both want what’s best for the club,” he told the club’s of­fi­cial web­site. “When we left the first time I was quoted as say­ing ‘I felt like Ken Barlow’, I would never have the chance to star in a Hol­ly­wood block­buster.

“But we have man­aged to go to the next level with Ac­cring­ton Stan­ley and we al­ways be­lieved we could do it. There has never been a bet­ter time to be at this club than right now.

“It is the fruits of the labours of a lot of dif­fer­ent peo­ple over the years who have en­abled us to be in this sit­u­a­tion. Peo­ple who kept us afloat when things were re­ally bad.

“Andy Holt has moved the club for­ward as re­gards struc­ture, he has made great strides for­ward and pri­ori­tised and rightly so.

“He has im­proved the sta­dium for the fans and the fa­cil­i­ties, it’s a big im­prove­ment and a new train­ing ground would be the cherry on the top.

“Once we get our train­ing ground, we can fi­nally com­pete with other teams on a level play­ing field.

“It’s some­thing I have craved since 1999 and it’s been a long time com­ing.

“Me and Andy get on, we don’t talk as chair­man and man­ager but as friends.

“I think we are the envy of other clubs that our chair­man is so trans­par­ent and he gar­ners the opin­ions of fans be­fore he makes a de­ci­sion. We have a good re­la­tion­ship, one a lot of man­agers would like.

“Me and Jimmy Bell had dif­fer­ent ex­pe­ri­ences and we learnt from it. We man­aged Rochdale, South­port and Sligo and they were dif­fer­ent en­vi­ron­ments.

“We came back wiser and older and I came back a bet­ter man­ager and Jimmy a bet­ter coach. We now fo­cus on the con­trol­lables and not things which frus­trate us which we can’t do any­thing about.

“It is a dif­fer­ent time now, the fu­ture isn’t in­se­cure, we aren’t liv­ing hand-to-mouth and I am not putting out fires ev­ery day. There is no ceil­ing on our am­bi­tions. Who knows there may be more fairy tales for Ac­cring­ton Stan­ley?”

Dave Howarth

Stan­ley as­sis­tant Jimmy Bell and man­ager John Cole­man, cen­tre, signed new con­tracts at the Wham Sta­dium this week

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