Fylde boss Challinor closes in on double deal

Josh Langley is set to miss the rest of the season
Josh Langley is set to miss the rest of the season

Dave Challinor says AFC Fylde are close to completing two signings, though the manager admits the deals are unlikely to be done in time for the Bank Holiday weekend double-header.

The pressing need for defenders was intensified by the loss of captain Josh Langley to a knee injury which could keep the centre-half out of action for nine months.

Langley damaged cruciate ligaments making the challenge which saw him sent off in the 4-1 home defeat by Maidenhead, though Challinor was able to replace him with Simon Grand for a goalscoring debut against last Saturday’s draw with Dagenham and Redbridge.

And the manager explained that the transfer market remains tricky even through there is no window in the National League.

Challinor told The Gazette: “We know Simon will do well. He has experience and gives us balance but we only have the two centre-halves at present. We have been trying to get players in for a month but the transfer window in the Football League has an impact on us.

“League clubs have been keeping hold of their players because the loan market has another week to run. We thought we had one deal done only for it to fall through at the last minute because the player’s representative wanted to wait and see if any other clubs came in.

“Next week we could become a more attractive proposition, though we would be daft to jump in for players we aren’t convinced about.”

One signing Challinor has got over the line this week was for the much-travelled midfielder Tom McCready, though injuries stalled the 26-year-old’s career at Exeter and he has not played a competitive game for 12 months.

Challinor added: “Tom was with us at Colwyn Bay. He had a frustrating time at Exeter and has come here to prove himself.

“It was a no-brainer for me because he has experience in the dressing room and at higher levels, he can play in different positions and is a clever footballer.

“He played with us in pre-season and is fully fit. If we need him he’s ready to start.”

Challinor could need all hands on deck for two games in little over 48 hours: tomorrow they visit a Hartlepool United side with just two points since dropping out of the Football League and then, on Monday evening, Mill Farm welcomes BT Sport cameras for the first time as Barrow visit.