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Ian is raring to go

ACCRINGTON Stanley's new signing Ian Craney is hoping to repay John Coleman's faith in him by getting the goals to boost Stanley's Football League bid.

NEW BOY... Ian Craney.
NEW BOY... Ian Craney.

ACCRINGTON Stanley's new signing Ian Craney is hoping to repay John Coleman's faith in him by getting the goals to boost Stanley's Football League bid.

Manager Coleman made the Altrincham midfielder his number one summer target and chased him for months in an on-off deal which was finally settled last month in a £15,000 move.

Craney - 22 later this month - comes highly rated after captaining the Robins and finishing their top scorer last season. He then won the UniBond Player of the Year award and capped a good season by winning his second England cap in America in June.

And, after the Reds returned to training yesterday at Wilson's Playing Fields - and became a full-time club for the first time in 42 years - Craney couldn't wait to get stuck in and get prepared for Conference football.

"I am buzzing and can't wait for the season to start," said the former Runcorn player. "It was frustrating when I didn't know if the deal would go through. I enjoyed my time at Altrincham and the fans were great but sometimes you have got to move on. And it was such a relief when it was all done. I was made up."

"I got 13 goals last season and I thought I could have got more. They tended to be ones from outside the area so I am hoping I can get into the box a bit more and get a few tap-ins!"

"It is good to know the manager rated me so highly to keep chasing me and it has given me a confidence boost. Hopefully I can express myself better and repay him by trying to score around 15 goals - and helping Accrington win the league."

At least there will be a few friendly faces at the club as Craney lives round the corner from Stanley skipper Peter Cavanagh and played in the same junior football team as another "new" boy, striker Lee McEvilly, who has signed up after being on loan from Rochdale last season.

"Cav has told me that I will have more time on the ball in the Conference but to be careful not to give the ball away."

"In the UniBond you get the ball back again pretty quickly but not in the Conference. He has also said the strikers are better finishers, but I just can't wait to get involved in it all," admitted Craney who has given up an office job to become a full-time footballer for the first time in his career.

"I also think full-time football will help me as well. I have been told it will improve my game by at least 20 per cent and will make me sharper on the field - and in my brain. And obviously the fitness will be a lot better."

Along with Craney, new boys, defender Matt Doughty, midfielder Steve Jagielka, left back Stuart Howson and left winger Paul Carvill, started training as well as around five trialists who were hoping to win a Stanley contract for next season.

"We have been inundated with requests for trials so I think John (Coleman) will have a look at them, they might play in some of the pre-season games and then we will see what happens," said chairman Eric Whalley.

And the chairman confirmed that the club expect to receive news in the next week after applying for a work permit for Australian international keeper Jason Petkovic. "Things are at an advanced stage and we expect to hear soon. We want him here as soon as we can so we can start making definite plans," said the chairman of the Perth Glory star.

And it seems the summer-long wrangle over Jon Kennedy's contract could be finally resolved this week. The goalkeeper has spoken to the management and he hopes to put pen to paper on a new deal.

And Darran Kempson's stay with the Reds isn't necessarily over. Preston were said to be eager to give the defender to Stanley on a year-long loan after a successful loan spell last season. Stanley weren't keen on this but things could change.

  • STANLEY'S Conference clash with York has been switched from Monday 30 August to Tuesday 31 August.


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