Fylde sign midfielder from Premier League Swansea

Thomas Holland with Fylde boss Dave Challinor
Thomas Holland with Fylde boss Dave Challinor

AFC Fylde have signed 19-year-old Swansea City midfielder Thomas Holland on loan until the end of the season.

Holland joined the Swans in March last year from Manchester City’s Academy, where he was a team-mate of Coasters midfielder James Hardy.

Holland become the second young midfielder to join the club over the past week following the arrival of USA youth international Kristian Scott and manager Dave Challinor was delighted to further bolster his ranks.

Challinor said: “Tom’s name came up and we were informed that he was available from Swansea.

“He already knows James from their time at Manchester City, so there was a link there.

“He could have gone to a Football League club and played for their Under-23 side but he was keen to step up to the challenge of playing first- team football.

“Critically, it’s another body in for us. As a player, he isn’t the biggest but he is technically very good and likes to get stuck in.

“If you asked him, he would probably like to play a holding midfield role.

“He is in a similar mould to Caspar (Hughes) – very comfortable in possession, a good passer of the ball and will run about.

“He trained really well on Tuesday morning and we are an easy group to fit in with, so I think that will help with the transition.

“First impressions are very positive and we are looking forward to working with him.”

Challinor now has an array of midfield options at his disposa but admits he has been frustrated in his pursuit of defensive back-up.

“There is some competition in midfield now and it allows us to try different options.

“We have had a few injuries recently, so just having bodies in to cover is important.

“We have no cover in full-back areas, so sometimes we have to shift people around.

“We have been trying to bring bodies in for a while but it’s been really difficult.

“Most doors that we have opened seem to have been slammed in our face.

“We still need to strengthen defensively but unfortunately so far it has not been possible.

“ It’s not just through January, we are trying to strengthen right through the season.”