John Coleman believes Stanley owe a great deal to the Emirates FA Cup – and hopes to embark on another run in the old competition today.
The Reds travel to Bradford City in the first round proper looking to book their place in Monday’s draw.
It’s a far cry from the days of hosting Football League teams as a non-league side but the manager never has those days far from his thoughts.
“I don’t think we’d be here if it wasn’t for the FA Cup,” he said. “The run that culminated in beating Bournemouth and playing Colchester laid the foundations for going full time which ultimately provided the basis for us to get back into the Football League.
“Without this competition I doubt there would be an Accrington Stanley in the form it is today. There are still huge incentives to do well and we can’t underestimate the opportunity to earn money for the club. Getting through gives you the potential to earn even more money too.
“I still value this competition really highly. The FA Cup win over Huddersfield is still the best one for me. I think Liverpool played Manchester United on the same day and more people were watching us against Huddersfield because we were live on the BBC.
“It was a terrific atmosphere and a terrific occasion and won by a fantastic goal from Andy Gouck. It’s one of those urban myths generated in football that I offered him a pie if he scored. That wasn’t the case. I promised him that he wouldn’t have to drink one of those protein shakes that he really didn’t like after the game. I think a pie fitted the newspaper headlines better though.
“Bradford have shown in the past that a cup run can help your league form. They’ve been in lower to mid table positions when they’ve had their famous runs and taken the opportunity to build some momentum and get up the table.
“Other clubs look at what they’ve done in the past and think that others can do the same. There’s no doubt that there will be some great stories this weekend and let’s hope we are one of them.”