Slow recruitment doesn’t concern AFC Fylde boss

Luke Burke is one player to have joined the Coasters this summer''                      Picture: Steve McLellan
Luke Burke is one player to have joined the Coasters this summer'' Picture: Steve McLellan
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Dave Challinor says he is currently satisfied with his AFC Fylde squad despite admitting it’s been a “slow start” to the summer in terms of recruitment.

Challinor, who told The Gazette at the end of last season that the Coasters’ squad would require a big overhaul ahead of the new season, has brought in three new players so far.

Luke Burke rejoined earlier this week following his successful loan spell last season, joining Neill Byrne and Ryan Croasdale in putting pen to paper with the Mill Farm club.

Challinor says he is happy with the core of his squad that helped Fylde finish in a play-off spot in the National League last season, but he insists new additions are the order of the day.

“Things happen at this time of the year, whether it be players or managers. Lots of different things happen,” he said.

“Where we are there’s always going to be a turnaround in terms of recruitment.

“For us it’s been a bit slower than we’d like but the core of our squad is strong and we have lads in on trial.

“We’re just looking to add to that. You’re bound to lose players, whether that be by choice or other teams wanting them.

“But in the main I’m happy with where we’re at.”

Burke, who made 20 appearances for the club last season on loan from Wigan Athletic, has signed a two-year deal with the Coasters.

Challinor revealed the defender’s versatility was a key factor in bringing him back to the club, adding: “He was obviously one we had last year so we know all about him.

“It helps that he knows what we’re all about and the lads in our group, so hopefully he will kick on from where he was last year and have a strong season for us.

“His versatility is good for us. Yes he played at right-back for us but he can also do a job at centre-back and left-back, so he gives us good flexibility.”

Challinor himself is someone who has put pen to paper, having signed an extended deal until 2021.

Challinor joined from Colwyn Bay in 2011 and has overseen three promotions.

“It’s been in the offing for a while so to get it sorted is great,” he said.

“It’s not something that was overly concerning me if I’m being honest, but to get it done and sorted out is really pleasing.

“Now I’m looking forward to the start of the new season.”