STANLEY captain Seamus Conneely has signed a contract extension on the eve of the new campaign.

The 33-year-old midfielder had a year remaining on his previous deal and has agreed to a further 12 months, taking him until the summer of 2023.

Conneely joined the Reds in January 2015 from Sligo Rovers where he had played under Stanley boss John Coleman.

He’s gone on to become a firm favourite at the Wham Stadium making 260 appearances for the club.

"I was very pleased when the manager came to me, a little bit surprised, but I said yes straight away,” Conneely said.

"It suits me to be settled. I know everyone around the ground, the staff, the fans, I am comfortable in the area and it’s nice to know I will be here for another two years and that’s good as my kids are going to start school in September so these little things are important.

"My family are very happy in the area, I am happy at the club and we have had some good times since I first came here in 2015.

"The highlight was getting promoted to League One and maintaining our status for the next three seasons. I am looking forward to a couple more seasons of hopefully progress."

Coleman named the former Sheffield United man his player of the season for 2020/21 and is delighted to have secured his future.

“He's deserved it, he's epitomised what we're about and he was our best player last season,” the Stanley boss said. "He keeps himself as fit as he can, I know he's injured at the moment, but he covers the most ground on the pitch in every game he plays.

"We need that experience, he's deserved a new contract and I think we've got a good few years left in Seamus."

Elsewhere, Stanley completed their build-up for the new League One season with a 2-0 defeat at home to Bradford on Saturday.

The Reds were undone by a poor first-half display with Andy Cook firing home a deflected opener with just four minutes on the clock before adding a second on 21 minutes as he headed home Callum Cooke’s corner.

Despite his obvious frustration, Coleman believes the setback could be timely ahead of the league opener at Wycombe on Saturday.

“We’ve got standards that we generally meet and we didn’t meet them today,” he said.

“That’s not taking anything away from Bradford, they played really well. I don’t like getting beat and they were just miles better than us in every department, in the first half especially.

"The second half was a bit more even.

“It could do us the world of good. We’ve been playing very well, looked very strong and today might just be the wake-up call we needed not to get too carried away with ourselves.”