STANLEY star Matty Pearson can’t wait to run out in front of a full house at the Wham Stadium on Saturday with the prospect of securing League One football next season.

The 22-year-old will cast his mind back 12 months to when he was at Halifax in the Conference, and he’ll have to pinch himself to realise that the Reds are on the brink of such an incredible achievement in his first season at the club.


“I’m not thinking too much past Saturday’s game at the moment,” he said.

“But I was playing non-league last season and the chance of playing in League One next season is amazing.”

The match against Stevenage is a sell-out, with fans queuing up all week to snap up the hottest ticket in town.

That will make it a different atmosphere for the players, but Pearson says they will embrace the occasion rather than being overwhelmed.

“I’m feeling good about it,” he said. “There is a buzz around the place and we’ve all been getting tickets sorted out. It’s a good place to be at the moment.

“It’s a sell-out, with 5,000 fans inside the ground, and that’s something we have not experienced before. It’s going to be amazing!”

It could be a monumental day in the club’s history, but Pearson says nothing will change in the build-up as manager John Coleman sticks to the routine that has served him so well so far.

“This will be just like any other week: training on Tuesday, day off on Wednesday, then back in on Thursday and Friday for final preparations and looking at the opposition,” he said.

Coleman, and his assistant Jimmy Bell, have won plenty of plaudits for crafting a cracking side out of next to no resources and Pearson, who started his career as a trainee at Blackburn Rovers, is another player to have been handed an opportunity by them.

He’s already chalked up 49 games, scoring three goals, and been a key part of the tight-knit squad that has made huge strides this season.

Pearson explained: “The gaffer has given players a chance to shine here and he tells us to go and express ourselves out on the pitch, which has a big effect on the team.

“It’s always an important part of the season, the last 10 games or so, and we’ve been on a great run. If you can do that you are in with a chance of doing something.

“We are confident of winning any game – the manager puts that into us. He makes us believe we can win and we are confident we can do that against Stevenage.

“It’s a young squad and a lot of players haven’t experienced this situation before, but he says what he wants us to do and we go out and do it.”

With Burnley sealing promotion on Monday, it’s a good time for football in East Lancashire. But Pearson says he will be looking a little further south for inspiration, to the new Premier League champions who have usurped the cash-splashing big boys.

The similarity to Stanley is not lost on the full-back.

“We are taking inspiration from Leicester,” he said. “There are a lot of similarities between the clubs: they have got the big spenders in the Premier League and we’ve got some big spenders too.”