ACCRINGTON Stanley goalkeeper Rob Elliot says he will sorely miss goalkeeping coach Andy Dibble who moved to Coventry City this week.
Elliot came to Stanley in November last year from Premier side Charlton, just three months after former Welsh international Dibble arrived at Fraser Eagle Stadium.
"He has been great for me," said the 20-year-old who has worked closely with Dibble, 41, for almost a year.
"When I first came here, I was far away from home and had never played at this level and Dibs was there giving me advice and making sure my head didn't go down.
"He would always tell me where I was going wrong and I think he was the reason I had such a good season when we won the Conference - it was down to his coaching and advice.
"I am the type of person who always wants to move on too quickly but he was always the first to remind me that I am only young and still learning and not to worry and I needed that."
Elliot admitted having someone of Dibble's calibre at Stanley was special.
The shot-stopper said: "Dibs has so much experience and it was great to come to the club and have someone like that here.
"Everyone has the utmost respect for him for what he has done and he is also a very funny person. He is well liked by everyone at the club
"But, on the coaching side, he was very realistic and I could relate to it and, because of his experience, I never doubted what he said.
"But saying that, he was also very open minded and if I asked if I could do something another way he was always willing to listen and was never offended.
"He is a great bloke who is passionate about the game and he has been a great help to me and I will miss him.
"And he has been great for the club too because he is such a big name.
"But, with no disrespect to League Two, he was always going to go higher and deserves to because he knows so much.
"He is a great coach and with all his experience he should be coaching in the Premier League or the Championship.
"But the whole club will miss having him around."
Fellow shot-stopper Ian Dunbavin said: "It's a great job for him but personally I am sad to see him go.
"He was instrumental in bringing me to the club as I was with him at Wrexham and I am grateful to him.
"It has been great working with him and I would like to think his experience has rubbed off on me this season.
"And he always had good banter with all the lads - I think he thought he was funnier than he was though!"
Stanley skipper Peter Cavanagh also echoed both keepers sentiments.
The captain admitted: "We are disappoointed to lose a coach of such high standard but I can't say I am surprised.
"Dibs has been fantastic since he came here.
"I have watched his goalkeeping sessions and heard other 'keepers talk about what a good coach he is so we knew he was highly-rated and it would only be a matter of time.
"He has been great for the lads. He is really well liked and he is one you can speak to and seek advice from and he also joined in with the banter. It is a shame he had to go but it is a brilliant move for him."
Dibble, who has become a familar figure at the club, signed up to a stint at the Fraser Eagle Stadium in 2005 making Stanley his 17th club in an illustrious career which included League cup finals and FA Cup semi-finals.
He coached Darren Randolph and Danny Alcock initially and played four games for the club - against Rotherham, Stevenage and Worcester twice - while Randolph was on international duty with the Republic of Ireland.
But the Welshman decided, after more than 400 games in the league, to concentrate on the coaching side and has had a huge influence in bringing on Elliot over the last year and Dunbavin this season.
They have both pulled off some stunning saves and have excelled at penalty stopping.
But Dibble admitted the move to Coventry was too good to turn down: "I didn't want to go but it was a big opportunity for me.
"In any walk of life, you want to go higher and I have played at the highest level and want to coach there too.
"It just came out of the blue.
"Accrington has been a great experience for me, though, and it has set me up to where I could get this job.
"I have worked with some really good goalkeepers and I would like to think I have left the club in a better state than when I first came.
"I don't think anyone would have thought Accrington needed a goalkeeping coach but, as the club has moved on, everything else has to as well and that includes specialist coaching.
"It is a vital role and I would like to think I have left Accrington with threegood goalkeepers in Rob, Bavs and Francois Durboudeau who are competing for places.
"I will be keeping in touch and hope to play in a veterans competition with John (Coleman) and Jimmy (Bell). It was all amicable and I just couldn't turn it down."
Boss John Coleman also sang Dibble's praises: "We are sad to lose Dibs but we couldn't stand in his way. It is a great opportunity for him and I am sure he will do well.
"He has helped make the club more professional and I know all the goalkeepers have really appreciated him and all his experience."
Dibble has already linked up with Sky Blues squad and has replaced Seamus McDonagh who joined Aston Villa in October.
Coventry manager Micky Adams said: "Andy has a wealth of experience working at the highest level of football and I am sure that knowledge will be an asset to us."
He will be overseeing Coventry stoppers Andy Marshall and Rafa Gonzalez.