AFC Fylde boss wants landmark victory

Dave Challinor
Dave Challinor

AFC Fylde manager Dave Challinor is hoping to reach a special milestone at Gainsborough Trinity tomorrow.

The former Tranmere Rovers defender has led the Coasters to 149 victories in all competitions and is keen to get over the line tomorrow as Fylde seek back-to-back wins in Vanarama National League North.

Challinor, along with assistant Colin Woodthorpe, took the reins back in November 2011 and the manager admits they haven’t looked back since.

“It’s a great milestone to reach – providing it hasn’t taken too many games to achieve it!” smiled Challinor, who boasts a 62 per cent win ratio with the club.

“Milestones are great and quite often they get passed by without anyone even noticing, so this one is very pleasing to hear.

“We have enjoyed the last four years here very much and we have had success, which is the reason you do it in the first place.

“I’ll be very keen to get that 150th win this weekend and back up the result we had against Chorley last time out.

“We now need to keep the pressure on the teams above us and ultimately try to reel Solihull Moors back in.”

Leaders Solihull stretched their advantage over fifth-placed Fylde to seven points with Tuesday’s 3-0 home win over Brackley Town.

Challinor added: “It was probably a bit of a risk when we came in just over four years ago because we dropped down a couple of divisions (having won promotion with Colwyn Bay). However, we felt that the opportunity presented to us gave us a real chance of success.

“It was an exciting prospect because the club was being built off the pitch and this was our chance to build a team that could run alongside that on the pitch. I’d like to say we have done that.

“We have certainly evolved during our time here, but our philosophy and the way we try to play hasn’t changed. People have bought into that along the way and we have got to a position we deserve to be in.

“The important thing now is that we don’t stand still. We have to keep moving forward and keep improving year on year.

“It has been hard work but there is still a lot to achieve, so we keep going and hopefully we are here for the foreseeable future.”

The Coasters ended 2015 with back-to-back defeats, but Challinor believes victory over the Magpies was the perfect tonic.

“There’s no better feeling than winning football matches and it was made all the better coming against one of our local rivals, especially scoring quite late in the game.

“We have a game in hand on Solihull, and hopefully we can use the Chorley victory as a bit of a turning point and try to put a run together. That said, there’s no let-up in this league.

“We travel to Gainsborough Trinity this weekend to face a side with a very good home record. They gave us a tough game there last season but we know that we have to go and win.

“Injuries are starting to clear up now, but we are still picking up little niggles and others are taking slightly longer than we hoped.

“To get Tom (Hannigan) back was great and he has had no adverse effects from the Chorley game.

“Brad Barnes joined a few other first-team lads in a development squad game during the week, so we are getting there.

“We just need to get people up to speed now as we want to have 20 players to pick from each week and have different options for different games.”