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Ready for shot at conference

BOSS John Coleman says there will be no nerves when Accrington Stanley run out in front of the Sky television cameras at Aldershot on Sunday.

NO NERVES . . .Reds boss John Coleman
NO NERVES . . .Reds boss John Coleman

BOSS John Coleman says there will be no nerves when Accrington Stanley run out in front of the Sky television cameras at Aldershot on Sunday.

As the Reds begin their Nationwide Conference campaign, Coleman reckons he will be calm - although he can't speak for the players.

"I don't know what the players will be like but I won't be nervous. I want to enjoy the occasion. We have all worked hard all week and prepared well and once they run out, it is up to the players.

"It will be strange for them as they are suddenly the focus of a lot of attention but I think they can handle it. We have the personalities in the dressing room who will revel in it, nothing seems to faze them. Come Sunday, a lot of East Lancashire will be supporting us and we should enjoy it."

Stanley, for their first live tv appearance, are travelling down on Saturday and training on Sunday morning before the 5pm kick-off.

Meanwhile, Coleman has added two faces to his squad - former Sunderland goalkeeper Jon Kennedy, who signed for the Black Cats for £80,000 from Worskop, and veteran striker John Durnin.

"I wanted to sign Jon Kennedy last year. He was on loan at Gateshead when they beat us 5-1 and we couldn't get passed him. I also saw him play for Worksop so I have had my eye on him for a while."

Kennedy, 22, is 6ft 2in and will provide good competition for Jamie Speare.

"He won't want to be second choice as Jamie won't. I want them both to give me the problem of which one to choose."

Former Port Vale, Oxford and Portsmouth hitman Durnin, 37, won over Coleman with his pre-season displays.

"He is a good professional and has knocked in some great crosses. He tends not to give the ball away and has good habits."

With his squad now sorted, Coleman is focused on trying to get three points in the opening game and has read his reports on Aldershot who have a strong strikeforce in Aaron McLean, Roscoe D'Sane and Tim Sills.

"From what I can gather they will score a lot of goals but concede a lot as well. Their strikers are a mixture of pace, height and power."

Then Coleman will prepare for the first home game against Leigh RMI on Wednesday (Ko 7.45pm) who are managed by former Red Mark Patterson.

"I have a lot of respect for Mark. He will have his lads fired up as I will. He did a great job to save them from relegation last season."

  • Coleman is 25-1 to be the first Conference manager to be sacked. "I am a long shot. At least there are a few in front of me!" he said.
  • Stanley reserves are playing at Great Harwood tonight against Bradford PA. Kick off 7.30pm


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