Dave Challinor wants AFC Fylde’s players to take their opportunity

Ryan Croasdale on the attack against Havant and Waterlooville on Tuesday, when Dave Challinor says his AFC Fylde team were good value for their 6-2 victory
Ryan Croasdale on the attack against Havant and Waterlooville on Tuesday, when Dave Challinor says his AFC Fylde team were good value for their 6-2 victory
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They face a promotion quest and find themselves just three games away from Wembley in the FA Trophy, and AFC Fylde boss Dave Challinor says these are the games the club has worked so hard to be involved in as he relishes the climax to the season.

Fylde are five points behind National League leaders Wrexham in fourth spot after a 6-2 Mill Farm thrashing of Havant and Waterlooville on Tuesday.

Just 12 games remain in the league as Challinor and his squad now switches focus to the FA Trophy.

After defeating Ramsbottom at the second attempt 10 days ago, Fylde face their 17th-placed National League rivals Barnet in the quarter-finals tomorrow.

A two-legged semi-final awaits the winner and Challinor says his men are full of confidence going into the clash.

Chairman David Haythornthwaite recently told The Gazette of his aim to make history and see his club become the first to lift the FA Vase and FA Trophy.

But for Challinor, Wembley is still a dream but one he and his players would love to achieve.

He said: “The six goals did not flatter us on Tuesday night. We had more opportunities and played with a real freedom and belief.

“We have worked hard to play in these games and to be in the position we are.

“At the moment every game matters and these are the games you want to play in. The lads have a lot of belief at the moment.

“The draw has been friendly to us and now we face a tough test against a team from our own division.

“On a personal level, as a manager you always want to take your team to Wembley. It would be fantastic.

“The club has its own history of going there and winning the Vase, but our own group of players want to be remembered for something.

“But we are not looking too far ahead and will take it one game at a time.

“Barnet have had a good run in the cups.

“They did well in the FA Cup (beating Sheffield United before losing out to another Championship club, Brentford, in the fourth round) and we are not taking anything for granted.”

Luke Burke and Tom Brewitt are back in training but Dan Bradley and Ash Hemmings will miss the clash due to being cup-tied.

And Challinor is happy with the strength of his squad as they gear up for the final third of the season with bodies on the way back.

And the Coasters boss sees his ability to freshen things up as a positive for this weekend.

He said: We will be forced into making changes for Saturday.

“That works quite well for us because you can freshen things up.

“We have got a lot of bodies back and competition for places is high. We have a competitive squad at the moment.”

Fylde and Barnet have met once in the league this season, playing out a 1-1 draw in north London in September.