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Reds back England

ACCRINGTON Stanley are getting behind England's bid for Euro 2004 glory in Portugal.

NATIONAL HOPE... Stanley staff fly the flag.
NATIONAL HOPE... Stanley staff fly the flag.

ACCRINGTON Stanley are getting behind England's bid for Euro 2004 glory in Portugal.

The Stanley Sports Bar is showing England's opening game against France live on the big screen on Sunday.

And chairman Eric Whalley is tipping England to go all the way.

"I think England have the best chance they ever will have to win a tournament," said the chairman.

And club administrator Rob Heys said: "I think they stand a great chance and we want all the Stanley fans to get together and show our common support for England."

And prior to this, from 4.30pm, they will be showing the Switzerland against Croatia game from England's group.

Meanwhile, the chairman admitted all is quiet on the player front with manager John Coleman on his holiday. Stanley's chase of Ian Craney is still off for now, as revealed in last week's Observer, although it could be reignited when the Altrincham chairman returns from his holiday.

Craney, along with Stanley keeper Jon Kennedy, played in the England National XI game against the USA at Charleston in America on Wednesday which ended goalless. Craney started while Kennedy came on for the last 10 minutes.

"It is quiet but we are getting things in place off the field now," said the chairman.

"The manager has a playing squad of around 19 at the moment and we need to have 22 in place by the time July comes round so there should be some more new faces when he returns."

Stanley have made four new signings so far in Lee McEvilly, Stuart Howson, Matt Doughty and Steve Jagielka.

They have however added one new face this week - former Burnley physio Ian Liversedge.

The ex-Oldham and Newcastle physio has joined Coleman's cause with current physio Sean Riley staying part-time.

Meanwhile, Stanley will be involved in another cup competition next season after the Conference restored its League Cup.

The new-look tournament will compromise of 66 clubs made up from the Conference and the new North and South divisions in Conference Two.

"Most of the new 44 teams wanted a cup competition and we have found a slot and we have got potential sponsors," confirmed Conference chief executive John Moules.

The competition, formerly known as the Bob Lord Trophy, last took place in the 2000/01 season with Chester City beating Kingstonian in the final.

The top-flight Conference clubs will join the competition, which was approved at the league's AGM this weekend, in the later rounds.

And, the Conference has put forward 12 clubs - the top 10 from last season, including Stanley, plus York and Carlisle - to compete in the LDV Vans Trophy, and it hopes to receive invitations from the Nationwide League.

  • STANLEY'S Nike home shirt with the new sponsor's logo will be available from Oswaldtwistle Mills from Monday 21 June. The shirt will be on general sale from Monday 28 June.



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