AFC Fylde’s young player of the year James Hardy is looking forward to carrying on his fruitful partnership with Danny Rowe in the top flight of English non-league football next season.
He has been delighted with how he and Rowe have dovetailed over the last year.
The 21-year-old Rowe has been a revelation since joining from Manchester City 18 months ago and was last week named as the club’s young player of the year for 2016/17.
Hardy helped himself to 12 assists ,while also chipping in with eight goals, despite missing the run-in through injury.
Hardy is relishing the prospect of plying his trade in the National League with the Coasters.
Hardy said: “I’m very pleased to win this award. It feels good to be recognised for having a good season.
“I was disappointed to get injured towards the end of the campaign but it’s good to get the recognition for what I did before my injury and to play a part in us winning the league. Boston United at home was the highlight of my season; we won 9-2 and I got four assists and a goal.
“I felt I had a really good game and as a team everything clicked. We absolutely battered them and I was really pleased with some of the assists that I got that day.
“I have had a good relationship with ‘Rowey’ this season.
“When I was on the pitch, I’d always look out for him because I knew that if I gave him a chance, nine times out of 10 he’d stick it away. Rowey is great to play with and for him to say he’d have scored even more goals if I hadn’t got injured means a lot.
“It was quite funny how my move to Fylde came about but it’s worked out really well. It’s got me into the men’s game, away from the under-23s, which is what I needed.
“Playing for England C was really good too and I was pleased to get more recognition. I’m just concentrating on keeping fit and seeing what happens now.
“We’ve got a new challenge, playing at a higher level so I can personally test myself against better opposition.
“I’m really looking forward to it to be honest.Everything is a lot better about being in the National League.
“You get more coverage on TV and the stadiums are better. That hopefully means the pitches are a lot better too, which I think will help my game. A few pitches this season probably weren’t best suited to a player like me.
“I’m really looking forward to the step up and there are some really big clubs in there. I can’t wait.”