AFC boss relishes return to action

Dave Challinor
Dave Challinor

Manager Dave Challinor is already relishing the start of the pre-season schedule at AFC Fylde.

The club have confirmed five friendly fixtures to date, with three home clashes against Football League clubs, including an encounter with Championship Bolton Wanderers.

The Coasters kick-off their warm-up matches away to Marine on Tuesday, July 11 before welcoming League One club Rochdale to Mill Farm.

Newly-promoted Bolton will provide a tough test at Fylde on Tuesday 18 before the Coasters host Morecambe and then visit their old National North rivals Curzon Ashton.

Season ticket sales for Fylde’s first-ever National League campaign have already surpassed last year’s and boss Challinor hopes the warm-up matches will also be well attended.

He said: “It’s always a tough on deciding how many games to play in pre-season. We can be flexible and arrange more if we feel the need to.

“We want to be quite varied in the opposition we are facing. Before the fixtures come out, you don’t really know what lies ahead for the start of the season. We don’t find out the fixtures until July 5, so we have just had to plan as best we can.

“It is important to get everybody through pre-season and make sure that we have a full squad to pick from come the first league game of the season.

We want everyone raring to go to give us some difficult selection problems for that first game on August 5.

“We have some good friendly games to look forward to against tough opposition over the summer.

“We have tried to choose away games with good surfaces to suit our style of play. They have a really good surface at Curzon and Marine should be decent too.

“Going up a division has made us a more attractive proposition for clubs higher up the ladder.

“ We have games against a Championship club and two other Football League clubs. They will enjoy coming to play at Mill Farm as much as we will enjoy facing them.

“The pitch will be immaculate, the facilities are great and hopefully the three games at home will be well supported.

“They will provide us with some difficult tests but that’s exactly what we need as we prepare for the step up next season”.