John Coleman is set to sign a Championship goalkeeper after losing out on ex-Red Kenny Arthur.

The Stanley boss has moved swiftly to fill the gap after his number one goalie target Arthur signed a two-year deal with Blue Square Premier side Grimsby this week.

"I can’t name him yet as he is still on holiday at the moment but the deal has been agreed," said Coleman who was in Belfast completing his UEFA A coaching Licence this week.

"We offered Kenny a deal but obviously Grimsby are a bigger club to him."

The new stopper has some international experience and will rival Ian Dunbavin for the Stanley starting spot.

With Arthur going elsewhere, the Reds boss also admitted he is reeling after losing his three-pronged strike force of last season who scored almost 50 goals between them.

Out-of-contract Michael Symes has signed for League One side Bournemouth while Billy Kee has gone to League Two rivals Torquay, following in the footsteps of Bobby Grant who joined Championship side Scunthorpe a couple of weeks ago with his fee set to be settled by tribunal.

"It is hard to lose all them especially with the goals they scored last season but you just have to keep battling on," said the Reds chief. "It is obviously not ideal but things like that seem to happen at Accrington.

"It is frustrating but I have some targets, it is just whether we can get them."

Coleman, who has added striker Craig Lindfield and teenage left back Michael Hall to his squad last week, says his phone is permanently on as he had made a number of enquiries and is waiting for players and agents to get back to him.

"I am trying to get a couple of defenders in. I have enquired about one from the Championship on loan and then there are a couple in non-league who I have asked about so it is a case of watch this space.

"We have spoke to Leeds about getting Tom Lees back on loan but we have to wait and see what Leeds want to do so we are in their hands."

He admits he is frustrated by the lack of signings with just 13-signed up to Stanley for next season so far.

"You want to have more but it always seems to be like this every summer. There is no need to panic but hopefully there will be more news over the next few weeks."

The Reds are currently sorting out their friendlies but Coleman admits a worry over the pitch means home pre-season games are hard to arrange.

The club are spending £80,000 on their troublesome pitch with the laying of new draining and an irrigation system following problems and postponements last season.

The club’s annual friendly with Burnley has been pencilled in for July 27 but Coleman doesn’t think there will be many more arranged at the Crown Ground until they know for definite when the new pitch is ready to play on.

"I don’t know how long it will all take so not a lot has been arranged so far," said the Reds boss.

As well as a trip to Devon for the South West Challenge Cup from 19-25 July, the Reds are hoping to re-arrange an away fixture against Blue Square Premier new boys Southport which was also scheduled for 27 July and Barrow have also been in touch about a friendly game in early July at Holker Street.


* THE League Two fixtures are out next Thursday with the Reds set to face Oxford for the first time in their history. Oxford replaced Stanley when the Reds resigned from the Football League in 1962 and United and Stanley swapped places when Stanley returned to the Football League in 2006. The Reds will renew their rivalry with Blue Square Champions Stevenage and, while familiar with Gillingham, Wycombe and Stockport - all relegated from League One - Southend will be a new ground for many Stanley fans.
* FORMER Stanley coach Ashley Hoskin is Burnley FC’s new development and reserve team coach.