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Club News

New deals for Coley and Jimmy

24 September 2018

John Coleman and Jimmy Bell have signed new four-year contracts at Accrington Stanley which will keep them at the club until 2022.

This is the longest deal ever signed at the club. The management duo first came to Stanley in 1999, guiding them from the UniBond First Division into the Football League in 2006 – three promotions.

They left to move to Rochdale in January 2012 but it didn't work out and they managed Southport and Sligo before returning to the Wham Stadium in September 2014.

The pair, along with coach John Doolan who signed a four-year deal in the summer, mastermined Stanley's climb into League One last season, the first time they have played in the third tier of English football since 1960.

Coleman said: "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 wants best for the club.

“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.”

Coleman has a strong relationship with Andy Holt which helped him sign his new deal and they have got new planning permission for a training ground in Read.

“We 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."

Coleman says he and Jimmy Bell came back to Stanley in 2014 – four years ago this week – as different people.

“We 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?”


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