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John Coleman returns to Accrington Stanley

18 September 2014

Accrington Stanley's most successful manager John Coleman is back at the club after being appointed as boss

Accrington Stanley have appointed John Coleman as manager for a second time, following the departure of James Beattie last week.

Coleman, who managed Stanley for 13 years between 1999 and 2012 - making him the third-longest serving manager in English football when he departed - returns to the Crown Ground with long-serving assistant boss Jimmy Bell.

The 51-year-old is the most successful manager to have taken charge of the Lancashire club, enjoying instant success upon his arrival 15 years ago and boasting an overall win rate of 40% during his time there.

Accrington were crowned Northern Premier League Division One champions in 1999 - his first season in charge - before winning the Northern Premier Division in 2003 to move up to the Conference.

Coleman then guided the club into The Football League in 2006 after a 44-year absence and, following spells with Rochdale, Southport and Irish team Sligo Rovers, he and Bell will now be tasked with lifting Stanley away from the foot of Sky Bet League 2.

The Liverpool-born boss admitted his love for the club had never disappeared during his time away.

"We hope this is going to be an exciting time for the players, staff and supporters," Coleman told

"It's certainly an exciting time for me and Jimmy. We've never really stopped supporting the club since we left, we've seen a lot of games and we can't wait to work with this group of players.

"It's no secret that I've wanted to manage in The Football League again and when a job comes up at a club as close to your heart as Accrington then that ticks two boxes."

Accrington sit 20th in Sky Bet League 2 having picked up only two wins in their opening eight games this term. They remain just one point above the relegation places after defeat to Oxford United on Tuesday, and have a trip to Northampton Town to come this weekend.

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