Coasters' new boy seeks an instant impact
AFC Fylde's latest recruit Zaine Francis-Angol admits he is eyeing instant success.
The 23-year-old left-back, recently named in the National League North Team of the Season, made the switch from Kidderminster Harriers earlier this week.
The Coasters may be the new boys in the National League next season but Francis-Angol is already dreaming of riding high in the top tier of non-league football.
He said: “I’m really happy to be joining Fylde. They have a great team with a fantastic set-up. They have some big aspirations and ambitions that match mine.
“The stadium is top quality. It’s crazy how the club have these facilities at National League level, but it was obviously built very much with the future in mind.
“I want us to finish as high up the table as possible next season. I have no doubts whatsoever that we can be competitive in this league.
“We have to be realistic but promotion is definitely in the back of my mind. We have to aim for the best that we can possibly do.
“The two games between Fylde and Kidderminster last season were really entertaining. They were the two toughest games of the year for Kiddy.
“I really enjoyed my time with Kidderminster, particularly when the new manager John Eustace came in because he brought out the best in me. So it was a tough decision to leave but after seeing the set-up here and the ambition, the decision became a lot easier.
“I have my own aspirations and I want to work my way up the leagues so it was time for a new challenge. I want to do well and show what I can do in this league.”
The full-back began his career with Tottenham Hotspur before spending time in the Scottish Premiership with Motherwell.
“I was at Spurs from Under-9s until the second year of the youth team and that gave me a great start,” he said. “The facilities and coaches there were second to none and it was a great experience.
“I then moved up to Motherwell and spent a year with their under-19s before breaking into the first team. From there, I really kicked on and enjoyed my time up there very much.
“I mainly played further forward on the left up in Scotland, but the last couple of years I have been playing left-back. I’m comfortable in either position, but left-back is my position now.”
Francis-Angol is spending the week at Manchester City’s training base, taking part in the V9 Academy, set up by Jamie Vardy in a bid uncover the best of non-league talent.
He has been joined by fellow Coasters new boy Jordan Tunnicliffe.
He said: “This week has been great. It was a tough first day, straight into a double session, but we have worked with some top coaches.”