FA fallout has bonded Coasters’ dressing room

Dave Challinor is looking forward to the future
Dave Challinor is looking forward to the future

Manager Dave Challinor has spoken of the exciting challenge facing his AFC Fylde side on an historic day at Mill Farm tomorrow.

Boreham Woood are the visitors and it is a landmark for the club as they make their much-awaited debut in the Vamarama National League.

And the air of expectation and no little optimism has been undimmed by the revelation that five Coasters’ past and present players face FA misconduct charges for alleged betting offences.

Challinor said of the charges: “It is something that we have had to deal with; there are things that go on in the dressing room and this is one.

“It is a challenge that we have had to deal with and if anything it has drawn people closer together.”

Speaking of objectives for the 2017-18 season in the top tier of English non-league football, Challinor said: “The target is to compete in this division.

“It is a big stage to play on and a big jump to make, but something that we are all excited about and it is something that certainly excites me.”

Challinor has had two fewer players from which to choose after the announcement that two players named in FA charges – Matty Hughes and Caspar Hughes – would not be staying at the club.

That could lead Challinor to move into the transfer market and he said: “The fact that Matty and Caspar are going has left us a bit light and that could mean we look at bringing players in.

“We don’t know at this stage whether that will something short term or long term and it is something that could take a few days, weeks or seven longer, but we certainly won’t be going to sign any players just for the sake of it.”

The visit of Boreham Wood marks the start of a hectic month of August taking in no fewer than seven matches, including a trip to Chester on Tuesday night.

“We won’t be completely match-fit on Saturday, but other teams will be in the same boat as we are and we certainly will be by the end of August with all those matches.

“It is going to be a bg occasion with our first match at this level, but at the same time it is just another match with three points at stake.”

Fylde have had Boreham Wood watched in pre-season friendlies inclduing a match against Arsenal.