Mark Yeates sets sights high with AFC Fylde

Mark Yeates is targeting promotion with AFC Fylde
Mark Yeates is targeting promotion with AFC Fylde
Share this article

AFC Fylde new boy Mark Yeates says he made the move to Mill Farm to help the club reach the Football League.

READ MORE: Challinor expecting Lynch and Tunnicliffe to leave Fylde
The Coasters were one game away from achieving promotion from the National League last season, losing to Salford City in the play-off final at Wembley.

The previous season Dave Challinor’s side were also knocked out in the play-offs, albeit at the first round stage.

The club has already made a number of impressive signings as they look to go one better next season and Yeates says he’s hoping to contribute to their promotion charge.

He said: “When we talked I obviously knew I was signing for a good football club.

“From playing against them during the last two seasons, the way they try to play football, the whole set-up, it’s clearly a club that’s going in the right direction.

“All those things made me want to sign, plus the fact my family are still up here too – that’s another good reason.

“But all in all it’s mostly about the football. I’m signing for a club that has some really good players, so I’m really looking forward to it.

“The main thing is winning football matches, and with this group coming so close last season – being one game away from getting into the league – then everyone will be aiming to go one step better and I hope I can bring something to the group to help us do that.”

Yeates, who signed on a free transfer from National League rivals Eastleigh, has a wealth of experience in England, having clocked up well over 500 senior appearances, playing in the Premier League down to the National League.

Since starting his career with Tottenham 17 years ago, the Irishman has played for 13 Football League clubs, including a 12-month stint at Blackpool from January 2016.

The 34-year-old enjoyed an impressive season with Fylde’s fellow play-off contenders Eastleigh and registered 26 assists in their league campaign.

“I was in a side where we had a way of playing and we had a lad up top who could stick the ball in the back of the net (Paul McCallum),” Yeates added.

“But I’m not going to take all the credit. I had a good season and I was enjoying my football, especially in the second half of the season.

“I’ve always played out wide, for the majority of my career anyway, but last season I played a lot more as an attacking midfielder and I enjoyed myself.

“It was a good season, although we’re a little disappointed we didn’t get there in the end. But on a personal note, to score some goals and get the amount of assists I did was great.

“I think I also had 16 assists and six goals the previous season as well, so the two years I had at Eastleigh have been productive.

“Hopefully I can replicate that alongside the lads who are already here as well as the new signings.

“I’m confident I can create chances for people to put the ball in the back of the net, and if I can chip in with a few goals myself then hopefully that will help.”