Beattie champing at the bit

Accrington boss Leam Richardson must decide whether to hand player-coach James Beattie his debut in Friday's clash at Barnet.

Richardson enjoys the luxury of a clean bill of health ahead of the televised League Two clash with a Bees team boasting their own high-profile participatory member of the coaching staff in Edgar Davids.

And former England international Beattie is ready to answer the call if required by his one-time Blackburn team-mate Richardson.

"I am hungry and want to play," he told the Lancashire Telegraph. "I wouldn't be here if I wasn't. You miss the playing and the whole atmosphere about being part of the club. There is no working environment like it.

"You are a long time retired and that time is not for me. I am here and still harbouring ambitions to play at a higher level. With me not playing consistently for two and half years my body feels good.

"For a 34-year-old footballer, my joints are in the best shape of any player this age. I think I am fit. My back is not screaming like most of the lads at my age."