LESS than two months ago, Accrington Stanley named their team to take on Stevenage in the second leg of their League Two play-off semi final.

It read Alex Cisak, Dean Winnard, Phil Edwards, Sean Hessey, Joe Jacobson, Luke Joyce, Andy Procter, Jimmy Ryan, Ian Craney, Sean McConville, Terry Gornell.

It was a team that could not do quite enough to gain promotion, losing 3-0 on aggregate to Stevenage and missing out on the play-off final at Old Trafford.

But, regardless, it was a team that had thrilled the town of Accrington and its supporters for some months.

They had taken 39 points from 18 games to rise from nowhere and secure their place in the top seven. It was a remarkable time for a club short of resources.

Sadly, six of that team have now departed.

Some have moved on up, with Ryan, Cisak and Edwards earning deals in League One.

Others, Gornell and Jacobson, decided Shrewsbury would have a better chance of promotion from League Two during 2011/12.

Most puzzlingly, McConville swapped Stanley for non-league Stockport.

It is hard on John Coleman, whose fears have been realised after Stanley’s ongoing ownership situation meant the club could not offer new deals to players in January as the manager had wanted.

Coleman had already worked a miracle to create that team after losing the likes of Bobby Grant and Michael Symes last summer, and it seems unfair to rely on him continuing to produce them. The six who have departed are most of their very best players.

So Coleman must return to the well once more, using his contacts to bring in the best young talent around.

But hopefully he will do it with such success that those who have departed are proved wrong.

Stanley have progressed for 12 consecutive years under Coleman.

If the Reds boss can make that 13, Accrington could yet be in for a very special season indeed.