Coleman returns to Stanley

Accrington Stanley have re-appointed John Coleman as manager, replacing James Beattie.

Former England striker Beattie parted company with League Two Stanley on Friday by mutual consent.

Coleman managed Stanley from 1999 to 2012 and won three promotions including their return to the Football League - sealed with their Conference title triumph in 2006. 

The 51-year-old and long-time assistant Jimmy Bell have left Irish club Sligo Rovers to take on roles at Stanley.

"We hope this is going to be an exciting time for the players, staff and supporters," an excited Coleman told the club's official website.

"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 Stanley chairman Peter Marsden said he felt the club had lost their identity in recent years.

"I feel 'passion' is something we have missed on and off the pitch for quite a while," he said.

"Arguably in our quest to become more 'professional' (perhaps out of a misplaced sense of inferiority because of our non-league roots) we have lost that indefinable essence to what Stanley is all about."

Stanley sit 20th in the fourth tier of English football after a 3-1 defeat at Oxford United on Wednesday.