Former Dutch international Edgar Davids against England’s James Beattie was a clash which graced the Premiership six years ago. Now it could happen at Underhill tonight as Stanley make the trip to Barnet.
Ex-Ajax, Juventus and Tottenham star Davids, now joint head coach at Barnet at 39, is said to be playing for the Bees for no money and he has helped turn around their fortunes from being adrift at the bottom, although they have stuttered in recent weeks.
Meanwhile striker Beattie could make his Stanley bow after boss Leam Richardson pulled off a coup in getting his former Blackburn Rovers team-mate to sign up for the Reds.
"I can’t remember playing against Edgar Davids before but apparently I played for Everton when he played for Tottenham," smiled Beattie, 34, who is excited about a new challenge at the Crown Ground.
"But I think there are a number of former internationals and Premier League players in League Two at the moment, due to the economic climate and the fact people just want to keep playing as long as they can.
"It should make the League Two team of the year an interesting read at the end of the season!"
Stanley’s Richardson was delighted to have his mate at the club in a dual coaching and playing capacity and he’s pleased the likes of Davids and Beattie are gracing the lower echelons of English football.
Richardson said: "It’s great for League Two football. The game has changed a lot – you get younger managers now and quality players even in the levels below us. They are great role models to young lads, showing they still have the hunger and desire to play well into their 30s."
Richardson knows it is a bonus to get Beattie, who is probably the biggest signing at the Crown Ground in recent years.
"Championship and League One players turned down the chance to come to Accrington in the summer but James is a former England international who is relishing the opportunity to be here," said the Reds boss.
"He is so humble. He doesn’t need to play football, he doesn’t need the money but he is such a good professional that he wants to come here and do well.
"He wants to experience something different and give something to the team and it’s great to see. For us to attract someone like James is fantastic and his debut, his first goal and so on, everything is significant.
"He is going to help with coaching, he will get to see more what happens behind the scenes and it will be great for him and the club.
"I know he will be a good character in the dressing room and the young players will learn a lot from him, on and off the pitch.
"It just brings a bit of a buzz to the club and that’s great."
Richardson confirmed Beattie would be involved tonight, although he hasn’t played for a while, but not whether he would start as the Reds look to get back on track after their 4-2 loss to Northampton on Saturday, Richardson’s first defeat as manager.
"Both Barnet and ourselves are desperate for a win to improve our league position, said Richardson. "They picked up when Edgar Davids came to the club but they are a good team and it’s no surprise they have had some decent results but it’s up to us tonight to be at our best.
"I guess, if Edgar Davids plays, it gives a buzz around our players too but he is just a player like anyone else and it’s a case of treating him like one and then shaking hands with him at the end of the game, as always.
"The players are eager to go out and play after the Northampton loss and, if we win, it makes it a nice weekend going into Saturday’s games."
After Beattie, who has signed until January, Richardson admitted he is still looking to boost his squad. He did have a tentative interest in Terry Gornell but Rochdale took the ex-Stanley striker on loan from Shrewsbury for a month.
But Richardson said he does have options up front at the club, especially with James Gray making his first league start on Saturday and doing well despite the result.
"I am pleased for James (Gray)," said Richardson of the 20-year-old who signed in the summer after his release from Middlesbrough.
"We have a big ethos at the club about looking after yourself and staying fit even when you aren’t playing and James has shown the benefits of this.
"He has been unlucky in that he scored against Port Vale earlier this season as a sub but then went on international duty with Northern Ireland under 21s and picked up an injury.
"We then sent him to Vauxhall Motors to get some games under his belt and he was unlucky to be sent off and he missed an important chunk.
"But I had a chat with him, he is a bubbly and confident character, he has kept himself in shape and there wasn’t a problem putting him straight in. It didn’t surprise me that he played well."
Richardson admitted the Northampton defeat still hurt but he, like the team, is learning.
"You do question yourself about whether you should have done something differently.
"We conceded three goals in nine minutes that could have been avoided but that’s League Two football – we are all learning together and taking the lessons into the next game."