300-up and still work to do for Fylde coach

Chris Briers - set to return
Chris Briers - set to return

Fylde RFC coach Mark Nelson is in charge for his 300th match on Saturday at home to Esher – and insists there is still plenty of work to do to maintain the club’s current status and beyond.

He said: “It is still very much a case with us of work in progress and there is a lot more to come from the club.

“We are at a good level, but we can’t afford to stand still and we have to be progressive.

“There are ambitious clubs coming up to challenge us in the North West.

“Sale FC say they have ambitions to get into the Championship and so have Chester, while clubs like Macclesfield and Sedgley Park are keen to get back to our level after relegation.

“At the moment we are the stand-alone club at National League One level in this part of the world, but there are other clubs with ambitions.”

Of his time at Fylde, Nelson said: “It has been a long haul, with its ups and downs.

“In my first spell, it was a question of consolidating in the face of financial problems and the second spell was about getting back to where we should be.”

Saturday’s clash at the Woodlands should be a cracker as it pits third-placed Fylde against fourth-placed Esher.

There was little between them when they met in the corresponding fixture at Esher earlier in the campaign when the home side prevailed by 27-24.

Nelson said: “Esher are not a dissimilar side to us - they have had some good runs and a couple of disappointing results.

“It was very tight when we met them down there and we deserved at least a draw.”

Following last Saturday’s reverse at struggling Tynedale, Fylde are due to welcome back fly-half Chris Johnson and centre Chris Briers.

Fylde will check on Briers’ fitness as he has been struggling with ‘flu.

Scott Barrow is out after a knee injury flared up again.

Nelson asked former Fylde prop Alistair Livesey about a possible return to the Woodlands – Livesey has been playing with Kendal, but recently left the club, deciding to retire.

Fylde: Viney; Spragg, C and S Briers, Brennand; Johnson, De La Harpe; Birchall, Burtonwood, Lewis, Gore, Arnold, Robinson, Vernon, Beaumont. Replacements: Griffiths,. Rylance, Thompson, Webb, Rath. Kick-off 3pm.