League Two Season Preview 2006/07 - Accrington Stanley

 


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Accrington Stanley

Odds: 20/1

Last Five Seasons
2005/06 - 1 (Conference, Promoted), 2004/05 - 10 (Conference), 2003/04 - 10 (Conference), 2002/03 - 1 (Unibond Premier, Promoted), 2001/02 - 6 (Unibond Premier).

Cup Progress 2005/06
FA Cup Fourth Qualifying Round (replay) vs Worcester City (a) - lost 3-2.
FA Trophy Third Round (replay) vs Worksop (a) - lost 4-2 on penalties after a 1-1 draw after extra time.

Top Goal Scorer 2005/06: Paul Mullin (striker) - 14 goals.

Players In
Sean Doherty (Port Vale - Free), Julien N'Da (Niort - Free).

Players Out
Mark Boyd (Southport - Free), Steve Jagielka (Released), Danny Alcock (Released).

Accrington Stanley stormed the Football Conference last season and won the division by 11 clear points. Just four years ago the club, made famous in the classic milk advert, were playing in the Unibond Premier but are now back in the Football League for the first time since March 3 1962, when they lost 4-0 away to Crewe Alexandra.

Stanley manager John Coleman has been rewarded with a new two year contract after leading the club into League Two while assistant manager Jimmy Bell has also agreed a two year deal. The pair took charge at the club in May 1999 when the club was still in the Unibond League First Division but have since guided Stanley to three titles and league football for the first time in 44 years.

The club have been boosted by midfielder Ian Craney's decision to extend his stay at Livingstone Road. Craney, whose contract still had 12 months to run, is ready to commit himself to the club after being named as the Conference's player-of-the-year. Winger Andy Todd, who enjoyed a successful loan spell from Burton Albion last season, has also signed a 12 month deal.

However, not everyone is keen to remain at the club. Winger Gary Roberts no longer wants to play for the club according to chairman Eric Whalley due to interest from League One side Yeovil Town. Roberts was also an integral part of last season's squad, having scored 13 goals and earning a call-up to the England non league squad. Midfielder Mark Boyd links up with last season's player-coach Paul Cook by leaving to join Conference side Southport on a free transfer.

Verdict
Accrington could follow in the footsteps of Carlisle United and Doncaster Rovers, both of whom won back to back promotions from the Conference into League Two and then into League One although a play-off place may be a more realistic goal for John Coleman's side.

David Walker runs free bets and UK poker websites. A free email course: “Seven Days to Better Betting" is available at both of these websites.

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