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Craney deal off for now

ACCRINGTON target Ian Craney is said to be gutted after his move to the Reds fell through - at least for now.

ACCRINGTON target Ian Craney is said to be gutted after his move to the Reds fell through - at least for now.

The 22-year-old Robins captain, who won the UniBond Player of the Year award this season, had agreed terms with Stanley and thought he was on his way but chairman Eric Whalley says the deal could now be off.

"We made Altrincham two offers for Ian and they agreed the second one," said the chairman.

"The lad agreed terms and it seemed all sorted but then, when they started reading out the figures, it didn't add up. It wasn't what I had agreed."

It is thought Altrincham wanted around £15,000 from Stanley with appearance fees for their 22-year-old midfielder.

"I have spoken to the lad and he is gutted. He wants to come here," added the chairman. "It is said there is another Conference club chasing him but he only wants to come to Accrington. It seems dead and buried - for now."

Stanley have, though, taken their tally to four new faces by signing former Sheffield United player Steve Jagielka - who boss John Coleman has been chasing for some time - and Rochdale defender Matt Doughty. They had already snapped up Stuart Howson and Lee McEvilly for their full-time assault on the Conference next season.

Midfielder Jagielka, 26, has been at Stoke and Shrewsbury and went to the Blades before being released at the end of the season. Doughty, 22, started out at Chester and has vast Football League experience, with more than 150 appearances under his belt.

"We are eager to sign at least two more - and one has to be a central defender," continued the chairman. "We think we are getting the right ones which will get us into the Football League."

Meanwhile Andy Procter admitted his England shirt and cap have pride of place at home after he made his first international appearance last week.

The 20-year-old - who turns 21 next week - had thought his chance had gone this season as injuries and University exams denied him a place in the England set-up.

But he came on a sub in the National Games XI's 5-1 loss to Iraq last Thursday at Macclesfield Town.

"I enjoyed it," said Procter, who has agreed a two-year deal with the Reds but just needs to sign it. "It was just great to be involved. It was weird as I knew all the faces but all the players made me feel welcome."

"It was brilliant to put the shirt on and my friends from University were there and my mum and dad."

"I got two England shirts - I think you are meant to swap one but I kept both mine! - and the cap and they now have pride of place in my house!"

Goalkeeper Jon Kennedy, whose future at Stanley still isn't sorted out, also came on and he will fly out tomorrow with England to play the USA in a friendly game. Procter misses out because he is on his holidays.

"It would have been nice to go to America but I had already booked my holiday - and I feel I need it after my exams," added Procter who completed his Sports Science degree at Leeds University this week.

Meanwhile, Stanley had shown an interest in Stevenage keeper Mark Westhead but it doesn't look like that deal will go ahead while Accrington target Steve Davis, released from Blackpool last week, has signed a two-year deal with York City.

The former Burnley defender is hoping to get into coaching and has linked up with another ex-Claret Chris Brass.

And former Stanley player Gordon Armstrong has joined Radcliffe Borough while Dean Calcutt has signed a two-year-deal with Stalybridge Celtic.

Radcliffe manager Kevin Glendon enthused: "At 36 years of age, and still fit enough for at least a couple of seasons at this level, Gordon brings with him the know how which I hope will rub off on the younger players and I am sure he will have an enormous effect on and off the pitch."

  • STANLEY will be making the short trips to Leigh RMI and Northwich after the two clubs - who finished in the bottom three - were saved from relegation.

Margate dropped down the leagues following their ground problems and Telford have gone bust - although they will be reformed in a lower league.

This is set to be ratified at the Conference AGM tomorrow.


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