How we use Cookies

Reds are going full-time

STANLEY chairman Eric Whalley is hoping there will be even more success when Accrington become a full-time club again on 1 July this year.

STANLEY chairman Eric Whalley is hoping there will be even more success when Accrington become a full-time club again on 1 July this year.

It has always been in the chairman's plans to turn the club into a full-time outfit for their second season in the Nationwide Conference but he has now confirmed it.

Boss John Coleman is giving up his work as a primary school teacher - despite spending years qualifying for the job and he is in his first year as a teacher.

"Personally I think it has got to be all or nothing - if we go full-time we all do - the whole staff, me, Jimmy (Bell) and the players," said the boss. "We will be speaking to the players over the next month. Things are in place to do it and it is just a case of agreeing it with the players who we want to keep.

"It will certainly be better for coaching as it has been restricted in the winter months. And to iron out one or two things on the field. I think we will benefit a lot although we have done well as a part-time club this season. They are a fit set of lads and I think that is a lot of credit to the lads who have looked after themselves."

Players like striker Paul Mullin, who has a good job as a financial advisor, have said in the past that they would like a shot at going full-time.

Forward Lutel James said: "I think going full-time means the management will get 30 per cent more out of the players. I think it will show. It will be hard for some of the players with jobs but I do think it is something the club has got to do."

The chairman confirmed: "On 1 July, 2004 Accrington Stanley will become a full-time club again. We are in negotiations with somebody about training facilities so hopefully, by July, we will have our own training facility. Hopefully it will help us to progress up the leagues. There are one or two sides in the Conference at the moment who seem to muck about with half-a-dozen full-time, half-a-dozen part-time so the training must be a nightmare, certainly for the manager. We won't do that. Everybody that plays for us will have to be full-time.

"If, unfortunately, some of them feel their jobs are more important than playing football for Accrington Stanley, they will have to move on. John is definitely looking to become a full-time manager and it's a big commitment from himself. After qualifying as a primary school teacher, it's a big decision for him but we have already spoken about it and we are adamant we are going full-time, and John will be a big part of that.

"If you look at the league there are virtually two leagues. There is the top-half who are all - bar Aldershot and ourselves - full-time and the bottom half who are all part-time. I'm not saying you can't do it but it is harder. It's a lot easier if you've got the players under your wing during the day."


Stuart Pike
Deputy editor specialising in politics
Alex Bell
Bethany English
District reporter
Beth Abbit
Court reporter
Jon Macpherson
Kate Watkins
Reporter specialising in communities
Garth Dawson
Photographer and columnist