Fylde’s Hardy ready to take game to next level with Danny

James Hardy
James Hardy

AFC Fylde’s young player of the year James Hardy is looking forward to carrying on his fruitful partnership with Danny Rowe in the top flight of English non-league football next season.

He has been delighted with how he and Rowe have dovetailed over the last year.

The 21-year-old Rowe has been a revelation since joining from Manchester City 18 months ago and was last week named as the club’s young player of the year for 2016/17.

Hardy helped himself to 12 assists ,while also chipping in with eight goals, despite missing the run-in through injury.

Hardy is relishing the prospect of plying his trade in the National League with the Coasters.

Hardy said: “I’m very pleased to win this award. It feels good to be recognised for having a good season.

“I was disappointed to get injured towards the end of the campaign but it’s good to get the recognition for what I did before my injury and to play a part in us winning the league. Boston United at home was the highlight of my season; we won 9-2 and I got four assists and a goal.

“I felt I had a really good game and as a team everything clicked. We absolutely battered them and I was really pleased with some of the assists that I got that day.

“I have had a good relationship with ‘Rowey’ this season.

“When I was on the pitch, I’d always look out for him because I knew that if I gave him a chance, nine times out of 10 he’d stick it away. Rowey is great to play with and for him to say he’d have scored even more goals if I hadn’t got injured means a lot.

“It was quite funny how my move to Fylde came about but it’s worked out really well. It’s got me into the men’s game, away from the under-23s, which is what I needed.

“Playing for England C was really good too and I was pleased to get more recognition. I’m just concentrating on keeping fit and seeing what happens now.

“We’ve got a new challenge, playing at a higher level so I can personally test myself against better opposition.

“I’m really looking forward to it to be honest.Everything is a lot better about being in the National League.

“You get more coverage on TV and the stadiums are better. That hopefully means the pitches are a lot better too, which I think will help my game. A few pitches this season probably weren’t best suited to a player like me.

“I’m really looking forward to the step up and there are some really big clubs in there. I can’t wait.”