AFC Fylde in favour of play-off revamp

Dave Challinor
Dave Challinor

National League newcomers AFC Fylde have welcomed changes to the play-off format for next season, when six teams will be involved instead of four.

It means the teams finishing sixth and seventh will enter the competition to join the champions in the Football League for 2018-19 and Fylde manager Dave Challinor approves.

He said: “The changes in the play-off format are great for us. We’re realistic as to where we’re at – I certainly am – and we’re going into a really, really tough league.

“We’re carrying momentum and we’re confident as champions of National North, but ultimately these divisions are really tough to get out of and if we can have an eye on those play-offs, especially with the extra spots available, that will be a massive achievement.

“No-one will be really, really confident and think they will romp this league because it’s a tough division.

“I think a lot of teams would snatch your hand off if you offered them a play-off place at the start of the season. Overall, I think it’s probably a fairer format and the play-off final is at Wembley, which would be another massive carrot at the end of a tough season.”

Challinor has made three summer signings to date –Zaine Francis Ango, Lewis Montrose and Jordan Tunnicliffe – and is looking to add around seven more.

He added: “At the moment, we have 13 players signed up and I’d suggest we are probably going to have about 20 altogether. The three lads we’ve brought in will all help us to improve defensively and all three are players who we think can get better.”