THIS decade has been beyond Accrington Stanley fans’ wildest dreams.

They reached the League Two play-offs in 2011 and then again in 2016 – losing to Stevenage and AFC Wimbledon in the semi-finals.

That disappointment was swiftly put behind them after history was made in 2018 when John Coleman’s Stanley side won the League Two title and were promoted to League One for the first time in the club’s history.

Below is our Accrington Stanley team of the decade with a nod to the men who have made a real difference in the 2010s.

Goalkeeper: Marcus Bettinelli

The 27-year-old showed plenty of promise when he was in between the sticks for Accrington in 2013 and 2014 – making a combined 39 appearances while on loan with the Reds.

He was then a key figure for Slavisa Jokanovic’s side in 2017 as Fulham won promotion to the Premier League.

Bettinelli’s fine form for Fulham earned him an England call-up in September 2018 although he did not make his way onto the pitch to make his international debut.

Right back: Callum Johnson

The man from the North East was brought to Stanley initially as a central midfielder on a short-term loan deal from Middlesbrough in August 2017.

He made his debut for the club playing in midfield before John Coleman moved him into the right back role that has seen him become a fixture in the starting XI.

Johnson is a consistent performer who rarely dips below a seven out of 10 performance every week. He was also involved in the title-winning side of 2018.

Centre back: Mark Hughes

An Everton academy graduate who eventually progressed to captaining the Toffees’ reserve side.

In 2013 Hughes was signed on loan by Stanley while he was a Bury player, but he only made five appearances for the Reds. Fast forward three years and the 33-year-old was signed on a permanent deal at the Wham Stadium.

He has become a stalwart in the heart of the Reds backline and is the experienced head the players look to in tough times. He had an amazing run of starting 136 consecutive matches, but that recently came to an end due to suspension.

Centre back: Matty Pearson

Despite only being at the club for two years, Pearson was a solid performer in the heart of the Stanley defence and had a good goal scoring record for a defender with 11 goals in 89 appearances.

The defender progressed through the Blackburn Rovers academy after he signed there as a 10-year-old. Stanley signed him due to his good performances for Halifax Town.

Pearson provided a lot of Stanley fans with their favourite moment at the Wham Stadium after he scored in the last minute of extra time against Burnley to knock them out of the League Cup with a 1-0 win.

Left back: Phil Edwards

This could possibly seem like a bit of a cheat seen as though five of his previous six years at the club came before 2010, but it was hard to leave a man out who has featured 231 times for Accrington and is a current squad member.

He first joined the Reds in 2006 from Wigan Athletic on an initial loan deal but was then signed on a permanent deal before he helped Stanley to the Conference title.

He was also a fixture in the side who made the League Two play-offs in 2011. Edwards returned to Stanley in the summer for his second spell at the club where he offers an experienced head in the changing room.

Right midfield: Jordan Clark

Jordan Clark is arguably the best of Stanley’s current crop and can cause problems for any side in League One.

He has the potential to play at a higher level and he deserves that with some of the performances he has put in. The Yorkshireman has been at the club since 2016 after he left Shrewsbury Town and has become a key member of the squad – forming a great partnership with Johnson down the right-hand side.

Most of the good things Stanley do on the pitch come through this man.

Central midfield: Matt Crooks

This could also be a contentious inclusion, but the defensive midfielder was a force in the centre of the pitch for Stanley during his 48 showings for Accrington from 2014 to 2016.

He was tipped by John Coleman to go on and have a big future in the game after some fine displays in League Two.

The parting of ways was acrimonious however when he and teammate Josh Windass left when Rangers came calling. He now plays in the same league as Stanley for Rotherham United.

Central midfield: Josh Windass

The 25-year-old signed for Stanley in the summer of 2013 and spent three years at the club with his move to Rangers understandably leaving a bit of a bitter taste in the mouth of some Stanley fans.

Obviously talented, Windass went on to make 77 appearances in a red shirt and managed to hit the back of the net 22 times.

The son of former Hull City man, Dean Windass, the Yorkshireman now wears the blue of Wigan Athletic.

Left midfield: Sean McConville

This was one of the easiest inclusions in this team. McConville first joined the club back in 2009 where he played 76 times, scoring 14 goals in that period before he made the move to Stockport County in 2011.

Three years later, the vice-captain returned to Accrington where he has gone on to enjoy the finest spell of his career. He was a key figure in Stanley’s title-winning season and was named in the PFA League Two team of the year that campaign.

Last season he improved even more as he hit 15 goals in Stanley’s first campaign in League One. Understandably, he has worked his way into being a firm fan-favourite during his 300-plus appearances.

Striker: Billy Kee

Possibly Stanley’s most influential player over the last decade, Kee first joined the club on loan from Leicester City in 2009 where he scored nine times in 39 appearances.

He then went on to enjoy spells at Torquay United, Burton Albion, Scunthorpe United and Mansfield Town before he returned to the club that felt like home to

Kee has gone on to score 68 times in 174 appearances since 2015 including notching 26 times in the League Two title-winning campaign, winning the Golden Boot.

Still with the club, but absent due to personal reasons.

Striker: Kayden Jackson

This may be a shock to some to see a man included in this team having only spent one season at Accrington, but he provided everything you would want in a striker and struck up a great partnership with Billy Kee during the league-winning campaign.

Jackson impressed John Coleman while on trial and was then signed on a two-year deal. He established himself in the starting XI and contributed to Stanley’s impressive form that season.

After scoring 16 goals that season, Jackson attracted interest from Championship side Ipswich Town.

The move cost more than £1 million, making him Stanley’s first million-pound sale.

Manager: John Coleman

It goes without saying, this was by far the easiest pick of the bunch. The Stanley fans like to call him ‘football genius’ after what he has done for the club during his two spells in charge.

His first spell at the helm lasted 12-and-a-half years in a period that saw the club win three promotions as champions and enter the Football League back in 2006.

Coleman rejoined Stanley in 2014 and guided the club to the highest place in their history after winning the League Two championship in 2018.