Challinor’s chase continues

A big future is predicted for Jordan Tunnicliffe
A big future is predicted for Jordan Tunnicliffe

AFC Fylde manager Dave Challinor has spoken of his delight at landing two of his primary summer transfer targets.

The Coasters have completed deals for Kidderminster Harriers defender Jordan Tunnicliffe, 23, and Stockport County player of the year Lewis Montrose, 28, over the past few days.

But his dip into the transfer market will not end there if the manager gets his way.

Indeed, Challinor hopes to bring in several new faces over the coming weeks as preparations continue for next season in the National League.

Speaking of Tunnicliffe’s switch, Challinor said: “We are delighted to get the deal through. He’s a young player with a big future ahead of him.

“He wanted to step up to the next level and test himself so it will be a big season for him.

“He has played at National League level before with Kidderminster in a relegation situation, but he is further down the line now and it’s time for him to show what he can do.

“Hopefully we can improve him further still and I’m sure he will fit in with the rest of the group and the way we like to play.”

Challinor added: “Ultimately all the players that we bring in are there to challenge for a starting spot and Jordan is no different.

“We won’t be carrying a huge squad – maybe 18 with a couple of youngsters – but there will be no guarantees for anyone.

“We will need every single player throughout the season because we have seen first-hand from last season that injuries can crop up at any point.

“We will need a very strong squad to compete in this league.

“At the back we have Josh (Langley) already and now Jordan. But we will also be looking to bring in another strong centre-half to provide competition.

“Then it will be up to individuals to stake a claim for a place in the team.”

Challinor was equally pleased with the capture of defensive-midfielder Montrose who he believes will add some vital experience to his ranks.

“Lewis already has the experience of playing at a higher level,” he added.

“He is the type of player that if you watched a one-off game, he wouldn’t particularly stand out to the untrained eye.

“However, what he does bring to the side in terms of breaking up play and being a shield in front of the back four is invaluable.

“He has been outstanding over the last couple of years at Stockport. We tried to do a deal for Lewis in January but that didn’t come to fruition.

“However, we were aware of a release clause in his contract that allowed him to join a club in a higher division and we are delighted to have him here at the club.

“He is taking a big step away from part-time football and a job to get back to being a full-time footballer.

“He wants to push on and hopefully we can help him do that.”