Who Are Ya? - Accrington Stanley
How Long Have You Supported Accrington Stanley?
I saw my first game back in 2002 as Stanley won the Unibond Premier League and secured their promotion to the Nationwide Conference. At the time I was a Season Ticket holder at a Premier League club and starting going to Stanley on my spare Saturday's.
Last Season's League Finish?
Stanley finished last season in mid table mediacrity with 65 points earnign them 13th place. This masks the fact that we were down in the depths of 22nd mid season and then embarked on a 15 gam eunbeaten run which saw the team on the fringes of the play offs before a couple of late defeats settled our fate to a 12th season in League 2.
What Do You Think Of Your Manager?
John Coleman and Jimmy Bell, his assistant, have worked miracles in taking the club with the lowest playing budget and on of the lowest average attendances twice to the play offs and 1 minute from automatic promotion a couple of seasons ago. They know what they want in terms of recruitment and somehow manage to fashion successful teams with a great team spirit and hunger which generally outperforms others with larger squads and budgets. Usually they have started a season with only 4/5 remnants of the previous seasons squad, as most were on 1 year contracts and chose to move on, and then to pull together a team that belies the perennial relegation favourites tag is nothing short of miraculous!
The new owner has brought some stability. With longer player contracts and now anyone that leaves only does so if it is right for both the player and club financially.
Hopes/Expectations This Season?
The hopes are we maintain a decent start to the season and finally get out of League 2, Stanley are currently the longest incumbent in the Division. The expectation is similar but tinged with the realisation that this is a very competitive league with anyone capable of beating anyone on their day. Stanley are generally viewed by opposition fans as being "only Accrington" which suits the club as many then wonder how they lost to "Little Accrington"!
Top Seven Predictions?
Luton, Notts County, Coventry, Mansfield, Swindon, Stanley, Swindon, not sure of the order though!
Bottom Two Predictions?
Barnet & Morecambe.
One(s) To Watch?
Skipper Seamus Conneely is the hub of our midfield, unspectacular yet very consistent.
Thoughts on Lincoln City?
Seem to have settled back into League football well after the highs of last season under an ambitious management team, well supported, and will probably look to push on next season after a consolidation season this time around.
Random Fact About Your Club?
2018 sees 50 years of league football in Accrington, the sum of the original Accrington FC and the original Stanley and the reformed Stanley club.
What are your proudest and most embarrassing moments as an Accrington Stanley Supporter?
The proudest was probably last seasons EFL Cup win over near neighbours Burnley, it was the first time the clubs had met in a competitive fixture and Stanley won it in the last minute of extra time. Not so much embarrassing but certainly disappointing was the teams failure to score in a home game for the only time in the season in last last match of the 15/16 season against Stevenage and the 0-0 draw cost us an automatic promotion place and then the inevitable failure in the play offs.
Do you have a Supporters Trust and what role do they play at the Club?
We don't have a trust but an active Supporters club which I chair. We assist on match day, run the away travel, do souvenir home match pin badges and generally fund raise. We helped fund the new Fanzone which opened at the start of last season and also funded the new large screen at the Wham Stadium which was used for the first time at the end of last season..
Which was your favourite match involving Accrington Stanley?
The EFL cup defeat in the London Stadium to West Ham last season, where we matched the PL side only to lose to a trademark Poyet free kick in the last minute.
Which was your least favourite match involving Accrington Stanley?
Probably the Stevenage game I mentioned before, 92 minutes great, 93 minutes Bristol Rovers score and disaster!
Would you trade 3 points to the Imps in the league fixture for a place in the next round of the Checkatrade?
No, the League is far more important to us, although Stanley are one of a small number to have never appeared at Wembley.
Tell where the Stanley comes from in Accrington Stanley?
The truth is no one is 100% sure but the most likely explanation is that it comes from The Stanley Arms on Stanley Street who formed a club called Stanley Villa, this then merged with Accrington FC and became Accrington Stanley.
Does our manager sum up your front line pairing of Billy Mee and Kayden Jackson correctly?
They have certainly formed a useful partnership for us, Billy is massively underrated and a top performer in this division , not the largest but links play so well playing with his back to goal. Kayden gives us something different with pace which always unsettles defenses by running in behind and playing on the shoulder of the last defender.
Is there any news as to when is the new main stand on the Whinney Hill side of the ground likely to be built?
Plans to continue to ground development are in place but the timescales are not yet fixed, we discussed plans with Andy Holt, the owner, at a recent supporters meeting and a 1400/1600 seater stand is planned. The facilities have improved significantly in the past couple of seasons but there is still a lot to do to catch up to the norm even in League 2.