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Reds ready for the Clarets

ACCRINGTON lad Richard Chaplow will be in the Burnley line-up when the Turf Moor side kick off Stanley's pre-season friendlies on Saturday (3pm).

ACCRINGTON lad Richard Chaplow will be in the Burnley line-up when the Turf Moor side kick off Stanley's pre-season friendlies on Saturday (ko 3pm).

Former Accrington CC wicketkeeper Chaplow has been the subject of a £1m bid from Leeds United but that was rejected and he will line up with the Clarets in an early summer clash. And Matthew O'Neill and Joel Pilkington, former St Joseph's FC players, may also turn out for Steve Cotterill's side.

Last season a then record 3,035 crowd turned out to watch Stanley draw 1-1 with First Division Burnley - now in the Coca Cola Football League Championship. And boss John Coleman is expecting another decent game.

"I want to win every game I am involved in so this is no different. It is a nice one for the lads to start with. I remember last year it was like playing Barcelona for the first 20 minutes but the lads soon settled down. It is early but it gives me a chance to have a look at some of the new players. And it is good to get back to matches with the adrenalin rush, me shouting at the players and watching us miss chances!"

Coleman admits it is "driving him mad" missing the early training sessions while he finishes his first year as a primary school teacher.

"That is why I am looking forward to the friendlies," said Coleman who has a couple of weeks left as a teacher.

Stanley's new player/coach Paul Cook will face his former Burnley team-mates again as will Damien Hindle. And a few of the other players are looking forward to it.

Former Blackburn defender Stuart Howson - who is hoping to make his Stanley debut - doesn't have the Burnley/Blackburn rivalry but says his brother will be backing Stanley tomorrow. "My brother is a Blackburn season ticket holder so he will be happy if we beat Burnley," he said.

And another new signing Steve Jagielka says he is ready to play a game after a hard first week in pre-season. "I'd rather play a game than train. It is early but it will split the training up," said the midfielder.

The cost is the only pre-season friendly with Conference prices as the money will be split 50/50 with Burnley. That is £10 for adults, £6 concessions and £3.

Then, on Wednesday, Coca Cola League Two side Rochdale are the visitors to the Interlink (ko 7.45pm). Stanley enjoyed a 2-1 win over them last season and former Dale player Lee McEvilly, now at Stanley, will have a quick reunion with his old team-mates. Cost is £6, £4 and £2.

  • DO you want to write a fans' eye view of Accrington Stanley's push for a Football League spot for the Observer? You need to attend every home game, most away games and write around 300 words about your view of the Reds' season every week. A small fee will be paid. If you would like to give it a go, send an example of your work and a telephone number to: Sports Desk, Accrington Observer, Blackburn Road, Accrington BB5 1JJ or e-mail or fax 01254 872259.


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