John Coleman says Billy Kee is ‘pivotal’ to the way Stanley play, after the striker won League Two Player of the Year at the Northwest Football Awards earlier this week.

Kee notched 25 league goals last season, winning the Golden Boot as Stanley were crowned League Two champions, and has bagged six so far in the current League One campaign.

However, the Reds boss believes that it is not just what the 27-year-old delivers on the pitch that is important as Stanley look ahead to their big clash with Barnsley at the Wham Stadium on Saturday.

“Billy’s a great lad – he’s a typical man’s man,” said Coleman. “He likes life and he enjoys what he does.

“People can talk about his depression and that will be a constant battle with him, but the way he comes across, he’s very generous with both his money and his time. I think he’s a great ambassador for the club.

“Then you take him onto the pitch and he does really well for us. The way he plays, he understands the role that we want from him and he never complains. He gets used like a battering ram most weeks and gets battered from pillar to post and doesn’t complain. He’s a throwback to the old centre forward in my opinion.

“I think we understand him, what makes him tick, and he understands what we want off him. It’s got to be a two-way process and if you get that right you’ve got a good player.

“We try to treat players like individuals. He’s not the quickest player in the world and he’s not going to be the fittest player either, but he’ll keep going right until the end. Players understand that if he’s doing a job on the pitch, they’ll put up with any differences in workload during training. But it’s not just Billy. We’ll treat all the players to their specific needs.

“I think the players respond to the way we play and they realise how pivotal he is to that. He brings the best out of certain players in our team, but then some of our players help bring the best out of him.

“Ultimately, players respond when they see that it’s all down to trying to get that win on Saturday and it’s all geared towards be trying to be successful.”