Welcome to my story with my beloved Accrington Stanley. I have been looking to write for a while now and I finally decided with the BETA being released on Tuesday to do so. The plan has always been to do this with Accrington, many people in the chat will understand that I travel from Newcastle to watch them most weeks, home and away depending on distance so I know the side well. Anyway, let's get into the history of Accy.
Welcome to Stanley!
The History Of Accrington Stanley
Founded in 1968, making them one of the youngest teams in the Football League, Accrington have had a rough ride since promotion in the 2005-06 season under still manager, John Coleman. In the clubs first season, they narrowly survived in 20th place, two places above a relegation place despite a poor run that consisted of five losses in their last eight games of the season. The same could be said for the following season, however five wins in their last twelve meant the club finished in 17th place and safely, in the end, above the drop zone and in the 2008-09 they finished a record high of 16th, improving the previous seasons finish by one place, which was a surprise to many due to the off-field issues regarding the club which saw the club nearly go bust but saved by Iiyas Khan (hence the nickname of 'The Club That Wouldn't Die') who later stepped down after saving the club in 2012.
However the breakout season came the following year, when Accy lost just one game from February-May from nineteen games to finish in 5th place, however lost to Stevenage Borough in the semi finals. Since then, the club have survived on the last day twice and recorded another play-off place last season, after narrowly missing out on the last day due to a late goal in the Bristol Rovers game meaning they went up automatically much to the clubs disappointment and they ultimately lost to eventually winners, AFC Wimbledon in the play-off semi finals.
The Manager - John Coleman
John Coleman is very much a legend at the club, since guiding them up into League Two he has done amazingly to keep the club in the league on a tight shoestring budget, considering how far football is becoming about money, for the club to be in this level is perhaps considering a mean feat. He joined the club in 1999 and remained at the club since 2012, leaving to take the vacant role at Rochdale Town where he was sacked from after just under a year at the club. From there, he left England for the first time to join Sligo Rovers in Ireland, racking up an impressive record of seven wins from fifteen games. But after Paul Stephenson was sacked after taking over from James Beattie and having an equally bad run as the previous manager did, leaving the club in the relegation zone, Coleman returned in late 2014 and guided the club to safety and the following season was the 'historic' in some respect, season of Accrington where he guided the club to that play-off spot. With an impressive win percentage of just over 40% in his two spells, could the Englishman finally guide the club to League One and above?