John Coleman: I'm interested in Forest Green Rovers job
THE man who led Accrington Stanley back to the Football League has confirmed his interest in the Forest Green Rovers job.
John Coleman, out of work since leaving Rochdale earlier this year, is keen to occupy the New Lawn hot-seat following the departure of Dave Hockaday.
The Citizen understands ex-Rovers boss Jim Harvey and former AFC Wimbledon manager Terry Brown would also like to be considered for the role, but the club have confirmed they will not be making an appointment before this Saturday's FA Cup tie against Bishop's Stortford.
Coleman led Accrington from the Northern Premier League to the Conference title, then reached the League Two play-offs in 2010/11.
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He was sacked by Rochdale, having spent a year in charge, and has also expressed an interest in the vacant post at Bury.
Coleman said: "I will be applying for the job because I know about the vision at Forest Green and it's an exciting one.
"I met the chairman (Dale Vince) when they signed Andy Mangan in the summer and I know how ambitious he is.
"Dave Hockaday is someone I have a lot of time for, and I feel for him because he's assembled a very strong squad and for some reason it hasn't worked out.
"He has put a lot of foundations in place at the club and it's now a very attractive job, so I'm sure they will have a lot of applications. But I'd like to think my record in the Conference speaks for itself, and after being out of the game for eight months I'm obviously keen to get back involved and be back in the thick of things on a Saturday afternoon.
"I've got one or two other irons in the fire but I have to say Forest Green is one that really interests me.
"I think it's a good sign the club want to take their time and make sure they get the appointment right."
Bankrolled by Vince's green energy company Ecotricity, Rovers can offer a playing budget that is the envy of most clubs in the Skrill Premier and many at a higher level.
Vince is expected to consult his friend and former England captain Gary Neville about Hockaday's successor, and there have been suggestions a big-name appointment is not out of the question.
But Coleman feels proven Conference experience is what Rovers require, with a big outlay on wages no guarantee of success.
"When we won the league at Accrington we probably had the smallest budget, so it's not all about money," said Coleman. "The problem with appointing a big name is they might not necessarily have a long-term vision or know the level particularly well.
"I know this league and I already know six or seven of the players at Forest Green."
Rovers are determined not to be rushed into making an appointment and have confirmed that Hockaday's assistant Gary Seward will be at the helm on Saturday.
■ GLOUCESTER City's Joe Parker will be winging his way to Wembley in May after being named player of the round for his FA Cup heroics against Yate Town.
The 18-year-old marked only his second City start with a superb 19-minute hat-trick in the 7-0 third qualifying round replay.