Fylde future in the balance for defender Jones

Fylde boss Dave Challinor
Fylde boss Dave Challinor

AFC Fylde are awaiting the outcome of decision by Grimsby Town about whether the Coasters can have defender Dan Jones for a further loan spell.

If not, tomorrow’s clash at Gainsborough Trinity could be his last for the Vanarama National North pacesetters.

A similar ‘D-day’ is looming regarding a future loan spell for another temporary transfer, Laurence Maguire, of Chesterfield.

Maguire’s loan spell at Mill Farm is due to come to an end after the game against Stockport County on March 21.

Regarding Jones’ situation, Challinor said: “The Grimsby manager Marcus Bignot has been quoted in the press as saying that they would like Dan to come back.

“We may know more after they hold a board meeting.”

The Coasters’ boss is keen to know just what personnel he will have for the vital championship run-in.

No more players can be registered after the deadline of March 31.

That could involve Fylde registering a third keeper, whether it is from their own ranks or from outside prior to that fixed date.

A lot of activity in the loan market depends on the fitness of a couple of key Coasters players.

Josh Langley underwent an operation on a hernia problem on Wednesday and Challinor is hopeful that he may be able to make a return to action in a couple of weeks. James Hardy is also currently sidelined with a groin problem.

Challinor said: “James has been doing some work on an anti-gravity treadmill and hopefully by the start of next week he will be able to do some training on the grass.”

Tomorrow Fylde take a handsome 11-point lead at the head of the standings to Gainsborough, who have an entirely different priority, battling against relegation.

With Altrincham and Stalybridge to all intents and purposes doomed, at least half-a-dozen sides are embroiled in a battle to avoid that third demotion spot, Gainsborough being one of them.

Challinor said: “We are expecting a tough game against them because they are looking for some breathing space. They have a new manager and results have not gone the way they’d have liked recently. Their last win was away to Harrogate and we know from our experience last Saturday how hard it is to win there.”

Gainsborough manager Dave Frecklington was in an upbeat mood, insisting: “If we can match Fylde for workrate and desire they will have to do something special to beat us.”