AFC Fylde ask league to delay first home game

Mill Farm stadium
Mill Farm stadium

AFC Fylde received their fixtures for the 2016-17 Vanarama National League North season yesterday and have requested that their first home fixture is moved.

The Coasters are scheduled to play Salford City in the first match at their new Mill Farm home on Tuesday August 9 but have requested that the fixture be moved back to ensure the stadium is completely ready.

Fylde want their first home game at the new stadium to be the clash with Brackley Town on August 13.

Last week the club agreed to move the Brett Ormerod testimonial match back four weeks from July 31 in order to ensure the ground had the required safety certificate in time.

The Coasters begin their campaign away to AFC Telford on August 6 and end at home to Worcester Cityh on April 29.

A derby double-header against Chorley has again been scheduled for the festive season, while Fylde visit Halifax Town on Easter Saturday.

Fylde enter the FA Cup at the second qualifying-round stage on September 17, ending a hectic period of 12 scheduled games in the first six weeks of the season, seven of them before August is out.

Manager Dave Challinor said of the first-day trip to Telford: We knew we were going to be away first as we asked the league for that prior to the fixtures being released.

“It will be a tough start at Telford but that would have been the case whoever we had got. One thing you know for certain is that the pitch will be in great nick and there will be a big crowd over there.”

If Brackley do turn out to be the first visitors to Mill Farm, Challinor expects a massive test.

He explained: “They have signed three lads from champions Solihull, and when you consider that Solihull can’t match what Brackley are paying that says a lot about where they are.

“Only two years ago they were a Conference side with a big budget. They will be looking to compete this season I’m sure.

They too will be a different proposition to last season and I expect it to be a really difficult match.

“It’s important that we make a good start to the season.

“Over the last two years we could have probably predicted how many wins or how many points we would need to reach our target but I think this season will be completely different.

“It’s going to be the toughest that this league has ever been.”