STRIKER Andy Mangan has returned to Accrington Stanley, 11 years after his first spell with the club ended.

The 31-year-old had been training with the club during pre-season, and has signed a one-year deal with one-year option after terminating his contract with Welsh Premier League side Bala Town.

Mangan only joined Bala in the summer after leaving Tranmere Rovers and taking up a coaching role with Fleetwood Town Under 16s.

But he said the chance to return to the Reds, and League One, and reunite with manager John Coleman was impossible to refuse.

“My mind was set, I was going to play for Bala and I was going to coach as much as I could. And when the opportunity arose to come to play in League One for the gaffer, you can’t turn that down,” said former Blackpool trainee Mangan, who helped the club win the Conference in 2006, the year after signing.

“I’m 32 at the end of the month.

“If I’d got to 40, would I have regretted saying no?

“And if the gaffer believes in me, who is a person I love and respect, well then I’d be silly not to take up the opportunity.

“It’s brilliant to be back. I know an awful lot of the lads and the fact that Jimmy (Bell) and the gaffer are here, you’re mates for life once you’ve been here.

“We’ve always stayed in touch, and I’m just really excited.

“I honestly can’t describe how excited I am.”

Mangan played for Bury, Forest Green Rovers, Fleetwood, Shrewsbury and Tranmere after leaving Stanley.

Of his return, Coleman said: “You know what you get with Andy. He’s getting on a bit now but he’s quite a fit lad and he’s brilliant around the place, he’s got a great appetite for the game and fits in with how we operate.

“He’s a good footballer.

“He went through a couple of bad years with Tranmere because I just don’t think his style of football fitted into the way they played.

“But he has done well in League One and he’s scored goals in League One and at this moment in time it was an option that suited both parties. He can give us something coming off the bench and he can certainly have an impact in games.

“And for what we had to pay for him we’d be foolish not to take it.”