AFC Fylde target more records

AFC Fylde manager Dave Challinor predicts that the go-ahead club will soon create a new crowd record.

Friday, 28th October 2016, 9:13 am
Updated Monday, 31st October 2016, 9:44 am
The packed east stand at AFC Fylde Picture: STEVE MCLELLAN

There were 1,935 people to see the Coasters enhance their status at the top of Vanarama National League North when they beat Harrogate 2-1 last Saturday.

Only 115 of that impressive number were followers of the Yorkshire visitors, which is a clear indication that a winning formula on the field and playing in a brand, spanking-new stadium can catch hold of the local fan base.

Challnor, preparing for a trip to face Tamworth tomorrow, said: “Long may it continue that we get good crowds.

“I am sure it won’t be long now before we are going past the 2,000 barrier.

“A lot of people questioned whether we would make a success of moving to a new ground, but we are proving some of the doubters to be wrong.

“People are attracted by the fact that we are continuing to win matches and they can come and watch matches in such a good new stadium.”

The away following to matches has been around 100 a match, which is an increase on the numbers that travelled last season.

Challinor said he could see that figure growing as well. “The supporters’ club have a lot of positive ideas about ways to increase the away support and we are backing them the whole way.”

Fylde head to the Lambs tomorrow protecting a 15-match unbeaten sequence.

The home side are managed by popular former Blackpool FC striker Andy Morrell.

Tamworth are currently in mid-table, though a trip to the Staffordshire club poses its own challenges.

They play on an artificial 3G surface and Challinor has been leaving little or nothing to chance in the build-up.

He has had his squad training on the University of Central Lancashire’s artificial pitch at Ingol and on one at Lancashire FA headquarters at Leyland.

The Coasters boss was also planning a further session before taking the field at Tamworth.

Challinor is certainly not allowing himself to be fazed at the prospect of an unusual playing surface.

He added: “It is a different surface, so it is a different challenge, but it should suit the way that we play.

“We are on a good run and we go there in a positive frame of mind.”

Challinor has no major fitness concerns ahead of tomorrow’s clash.

The fitness of Steve Williams and Dominic Collins is being monitored but both are expected to receive a clean bill of health.

Brendon Daniels this week signalled his return after injury as he figured in a 7-2 victory over Chorley in a development squad fixture, coming through without any apparent ill-effects.