ACCRINGTON Stanley boss John Coleman will be looking to take the club even further after signing his first managerial contract.
The Reds chief and assistant boss Jimmy Bell have signed two year deals at the club after working without a contract in the previous seven years.
In this time, they have guided Stanley from the UniBond First Division into the Football League.
"It is the first time I have ever had a contract. In the seven years we have been here we haven't needed a contract and I do not think we need one now but the chairman offered us one and we were glad to accept," said the boss.
Chairman Eric Whalley admitted: "They must be the longest serving managers to work without a contract. A two-year contract gives them security and will take them to 10 years at the club. I have been a manager and never had a contract and there has always been a verbal agreement between me and John and Jimmy. I would always have honoured it but it was my idea to put pen to paper.
"Now hopefully we can have similar rewards, we can continue looking forward and pushing on and who knows? We will see what happens."
Coleman has had a busy week trying to tie down deals for next season's Coca Cola League Two campaign.
He is at advanced stages of talks with a two midfielders - one from a League One club, where talks have been ongoing since last week, and one from the Conference.
"We are after a few players and John has been in talks with them this week but they do have other clubs chasing them as well so nothing has been confirmed yet," said the chairman. Coleman said: "I have been speaking to two midfielders as it is no secret that we do need to strengthen in that area."
Coleman is also looking to strengthen his front line and defence and names linked with the Reds including Morecambe's 25-year-old right winger Garry Thompson - although Bury are said to be chasing him - and Shrimps defender Jim Bentley.
Hereford's highly-rated centre half Tamika Mkandawire is also believed to be out of contract at the end of the season with a number of League clubs chasing his signature.
Coleman has also said he will be speaking to Mark Boyd and Andy Todd this week, who both joined Stanley late last season, but wouldn't confirm if they were to be offered new deals.
Meanwhile, Stanley have added to their friendly list which will all take place at the newly named Fraser Eagle Stadium. The players are set to return to pre season training in late June and will face Coca Cola Championship side Burnley on Saturday 8 July with a 3pm kick off.
Then on Wednesday 19 July, Premiership side Blackburn Rovers will make the short trip while they face Blackpool on Wednesday 26 July (both 7.45pm). The friendly with Bradford City has been cancelled. The club are still hoping to set up a pre-season game with Championship side Preston North End and may go on a pre-season tour.
- STANLEY are believed to have been fined £200 for fielding James Robinson without international clearance in a reserve game. Altrincham's appeal against their 18 point deduction for playing Robinson in Conference matches - which would see them relegated if not successful - is expected to be decided next week.
- PETER Cavanagh's ankle operation, which was meant to take place last week, will now happen tomorrow (Sat).
- BOTH Coleman and Whalley think Halifax will win the Conference Play-Off Final tomorrow (Sat) against Hereford at the Walker Stadium "I said Halifax at the start and I am not changing now," said Coleman.
- FORMER Red Rory Prendergast will spend another season at Blackpool after the club took out the one year option in his contract.
- EX-Red keeper Jamie Speare has moved from Southport to Barrow.