Stanley kick off their 2010/ 2011 campaign with a home game for only the second time in five years.

And, by a strange quirk of the fixture list, it’s against the team they lost to in that only other Crown Ground opening day match – last year’s play-off semi-finalists Aldershot in 2008.

The planners have been kind to the Reds over Christmas with a home game against Crewe on Boxing Day - where the Reds will be hoping for a bumper crowd - and an away trip to big rivals Morecambe on New Year’s Day at the new £12m Globe Arena.

The first ever meeting between Stanley and Oxford takes place early doors – the Reds visit the Kassam Stadium on August 28.

And there will be some travelling in the early weeks of the season for the fans with the first three away games, trips to Oxford, Northampton and Torquay. Stanley will travel to relegated Southend for the first time on November 13.

"It’s a tough start for us," said skipper Andy Procter. "Aldershot did well last season and they are a good side but it is always nice to kick off at home.

"I think Northampton were the best team we played last season and they did the double over us so that’s a tough one, while Oxford are a bit of an unknown quantity, winning promotion from the Blue Square Premier League.

"But we did better away from home last season so hopefully we can carry it on although it will be a changed side. And, at home, we will have our new pitch so we do go into the season positive."

He continued: "The Crewe game on Boxing Day is one to look forward to. We had a good win against them at home last season and there should be a big crowd. They are one of the teams I would tip to do well.

"Morecambe is always the first fixture to look out for and we will be going to their new stadium, so that’s set up to be a lively match especially as we have a good record against them in the league. It’s always exciting when the fixtures come out as you start looking forward to the season."

Gillingham, under new boss Andy Hessenthaler and his assistant Ian Hendon, are the bookies favourites to bounce straight back into League One while Rotherham – who lost in the play-off final to Dagenham last season – have snapped up Blackburn striker Marcus Marshall and Bury defender Ryan Cresswell and are also tipped to be up there to challenge again, along with Wycombe and Chesterfield.

As usually happens, Stanley, Barnet, Cheltenham and Macclesfield are the bookmakers’ favourites to struggle with the Reds hoping to defy the odds again like they did in the last campaign with their 15th placed finish.

Manager John Coleman is currently away so there has been no movement in the transfer market as the Reds look to boost their squad of 13 players.

Assistant Jimmy Bell, however, returns today from his break and the Reds, who have enquired about a number of defenders both on loan and from non-league, hope to add to their squad before they return to training on June 28.

The club have confirmed that the players haven’t received their full wages for last month due to the lack of income over the summer.

However, they have been paid the majority of their wages and are expected to receive the rest by the end of this week.

Despite some rumours, Stanley are not getting a PFA loan, as they did last season to pay wages and, with the increased money from the Premiership this season, chief executive Rob Heys is confident the club will break even by the end of the new campaign, even if there aren’t any cup runs.


* STANLEY will visit the Keepmoat Stadium for the first time when they take on Championship side Doncaster Rovers in the Carling Cup first round on Tuesday 10 August (ko 7.45pm). Sean O’Driscoll’s side finished in 12th place last season – 10 points outside a play-off place – after being promoted via the play-offs in 2008. The Reds have taken on Doncaster in recent years – they lost 2-0 at their old Belle Vue ground in the Johnstone’s Paint area quarter final in November 2006.
* A LEAGUE Two star is predicting that his fellow countrymen can cause an upset and beat England tonight. Macclesfield’s Algerian ace Hamza Bencherif says he is backing his home country and wasn’t hugely impressed by Fabio Capello’s team.

"I thought England would smash everyone," said the 22-year-old, who missed out on the World Cup through injury. "But against America they weren’t especially good. England have got quality players but they weren’t that impressive as a team on Saturday. I’m 100 per cent behind Algeria, but I would like England to go through as well. We want to give a good account of ourselves"


* THE Reds are hoping, with the release of the fixtures, there will be a rush on season tickets. An adult season ticket means the cost of watching Stanley is £9 per game, with a concession ticket £7. Under 12’s are still available for free when accompanied by a paying adult. Season ticket holders also receive priority treatment when buying tickets for cup games.

For more information either call into the Stanley ticket office, call 08714 341968 or download an application form from www.accringtonstanley.co.uk.

Click here to see the full fixture list at Stanley's official website.