Gloves are off in battle to be Fylde number one

Jay Lynch
Jay Lynch

AFC Fylde manager Dave Challinor says competition will be ferocious for the number one shirt next season following the arrival of Jay Lynch.

National League North Goalkeeper of the Year Lynch agreed a two-year deal with the Coasters after leaving Salford City at the end of the season.

The former Manchester United and Bolton Wanderers 24-year-old helped the Ammies to a fourth-placed finish last term, losing to Halifax Town in the play-off semi-finals.

Rhys Taylor spent the majority of the season as the Coasters’ first-choice stopper and impressed as the title was clinched with a game to spare.

Challinor insists every first team spot is up for grabs and the battle for the goalkeeper shirt is no different.

The Coasters boss said: “Jay is a good one to get in. It is tough sometimes with goalkeepers to decide which route to take but we felt we needed some more competition for the jersey.

“From my point of view, we now have the two best goalkeepers from the division we were in last season, which puts us in a really strong position going forward.

“A new season is a blank canvas and no-one is guaranteed a starting spot. We want a squad in which every position is challenged.

“We might not be able to have two equally strong players in every position because of our budget but we want to get as close to that as we possibley can.

“We have stacks of competition in the midfield and forward areas, and now we have that with the goalkeepers as well.”

Lynch has joined in the first week of pre-season training at his new club and Challinor added: “We haven’t done much goalkeeping work so far but he’s already shown that he is very fit.

“He is right there up at the top in the squad in terms of physical fitness.

“And that isn’t something you would always associate with a goalkeeper!

“Even though he was part-time last season at Salford, he maintained a full-time attitude and trained on the days he was off.

“So he is in very good shape and we are very much looking forward to working with him.”

DANIEL AGNEW

The Coasters say they have no statement to make as yet about the future of Dan Bradley, following reports the forward wishes to leave the club for personal reasons.

Bradley, who joined from Alfreton last September on a three-year deal, is said to favour a move closer to his Birmingham base.