We get the lowdown on tomorrow’s opponents from Accrington Stanley fanzine RawMilk.
Billy Kee is something of a hero at Accrington. He really struggled at Glanford Park and had his fair share of off field issues. Why do you think it’s clicked for him at your club?
I think Billy has struggled at a lot of the clubs he’s been at. He’s a bit of a maverick really and like you say it’s just clicked. He sinks a few pints after games in the clubhouse and talks to people. It’s endeared him to a lot of folk, especially then coming out and talking about his issues in the public eye.
He’s had fantastic service over the past few years here and can finish better than I’ve seen anyone at Accrington. He’s been on a massive roll but we’re facing a tougher standard of opponent this year and we’re yet to see how he’ll cope.
John Coleman is another at the club whose face just seems to fit. How do you fans rate him?
John has a special affinity with the club, the fans and with the town. A lot of other club’s fans can’t put it into perspective, he’s literally given us everything. Without him and Eric Whalley we’d probably still be in the doldrums of non-league looking forward to our derby day with Altrincham or Barrow.
He’s King on the terrace and no one will ever come close.
Your owner has undoubtedly done a lot for the club and the local area. How is his relationship with the fans and what is his biggest achievement to date?
Yes, he seems to make a lot of the right noises and has put plans in place for a training ground and a community hub. He’s also put new floodlights up and wants the club to feel more professional to entice new fans and players.
His biggest achievement would be the new stand being built at the minute to replace the old cowshed, that’s set to be done by Christmas and will boost the atmosphere nicely.
How far can Accrington realistically go? Is League One the glass ceiling or could you go even further?
It’s a tough one to answer in all honesty. The question is financial but also numbers coming through the gate. I always feel that if you’re going to go further you need the support to do it and we’re certainly not going to start getting 7,000 at home every week.
We’re sandwiched between two historically massive clubs in Blackburn and Burnley, not to mention if you go a touch further it’s Manchester, Merseyside and even Leeds. People of Accrington have picked their clubs elsewhere after the 60’s when we didn’t have a team and you can’t erase 50 years of family traditions.
The club is making the right movements at the minute and enticing young fans to support Stanley. That’s how we’re going to grow and survive in the future, after that, who knows?
You’ve had a good start to life in League One picking up two away wins at Oxford and Bristol, as well as grinding out a good point against Charlton. What do you make of the division so far?
It’s certainly a step up. We were humbled on the opening day against Gillingham which probably spelled out to a few people we weren’t going to be rolling teams over every week this year. Since then we’ve battled well and picked up some good points playing decent stuff. The squad doesn’t have too much depth in it so I think we need to be keeping players fit to have the best chance of competing.
Which players should we look out for on Saturday?
Sean McConville has slotted into the league like he’s been here a decade. Him and Jordan Clarke have stood out so far this year. Keep an eye on them as its all gone down the wings up to now and I don’t see that changing any time soon. He’s great on set pieces too and we’ve been a real threat. 19-year-old Ross Sykes gets amongst it too and likes to throw his weight around a bit.
Which Scunthorpe player would you take off our hands if you had the chance?
I’ve always quite liked the look of Matty Lund when he was at Rochdale. Think he’s a great signing and I’d certainly take him at Accy.
Have you got a score prediction?
I’ll go with 2:0 and hope we can crack a first clean sheet of the season. All the best for the rest of the year too.