John Coleman and Accrington Stanley supporters had reason to be optimistic for the 2021/22 season having kept their squad together from the last campaign, in addition to some key newcomers to the squad.
Club captain Sean McConville has been the team’s playmaker, and tops the Sky Bet League One assists chart with 10 so far this season. Meanwhile, it’s been forward Colby Bishop who lead the way in terms of goals with nine to his name so far this season. Ethan Hamilton has quickly adapted to life at Stanley, in his first season at the Wham Stadium. In all, a total of 14 different players have scored for the Reds this season. Players like Michael Nottingham and Ross Sykes are key to the defence for Stanley, while Toby Savin has played the majority of games in goal.
A Manchester United Youth Academy product, Hamilton is a Scotland youth international having been born in Edinburgh. He began his career at Hutchison Vale, the same club that produced former United player Darren Fletcher. While with the Red Devils, he spent time out on loan with the likes of Rochdale, Southend United and Bolton Wanderers before a permanent move to Peterborough in the summer of 2020.
Hamilton spent just one season at the Weston Homes Stadium though, and made the move back to Lancashire in the summer. He already has seven goals to his name in a Stanley shirt and has settled in well to life working under John Coleman.
Midfielder Sean McConville is in his second stint with Accrington Stanley, and was once again selected as club captain prior to the start of the 2021/22 season. The Liverpudlian began his professional career with Stanley in 2009, He would score 14 goals in 76 appearances for the Reds before moving to Stockport County in 2011. He then spent time with Barrow, Stalybridge Celtic and Chester before returning to the Wham Stadium in January 2016.
McConville has now played more than 300 games for Stanley, and has scored 60 goals for the club in all competitions. He is having a productive season so far, with 10 assists and two goals to his name.
One of the more experienced players within the Stanley squad, Pell arrived to the Wham Stadium after signing a three-year deal in May 2021 after leaving Sky Bet League Two side Colchester United.
After starting his professional career at Charlton Athletic in 2009, Pell was quickly loaned out to Hastings United through to the end of the 2009/10 season, and scored four league goals for the club.
He then joined Hereford on a permanent deal in 2011 after a spell with Bristol Rovers, and made more than 50 appearances in two years with the club. He spent time with AFC Wimbledon and Grimsby Town, before signing for Colchester in 2018. It didn’t take long for the 30-year-old to be named as club captain and his efforts in the fourth tier earned him a move to Stanley in the summer.
Nottingham-born Bishop arrived at The Wham Stadium in 2019 after spending the previous two seasons at non-league side Leamington. While with the Vanarama National League North side, the forward netted 28 goals in just 49 games in all competitions. A youth academy product of Notts County, Bishop was part of their youth system and came through the ranks to appear in four league games for the club.
After dropping into Non-League, the 25-year-old worked hard to get himself back into the professional game and has impressed since joining Stanley. He is their top scorer this season and has reached double figures for goals in each of his three seasons with the club now. Following the departure of Dion Charles to Bolton in January, he will have an even more important part to play for the remainder of the season.