Fylde boss hopes to be spoiled for choice

James Hardy
James Hardy
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AFC Fylde manager Dave Challinor is relishing his attacking options as he plots a course to keep the Coasters on top of National League North.

Fylde were boosted by the return of two summer signings at the weekend with both Brendon Daniels and Dan Bradley recovering from injury and Challinor was delighted to see them return.

Challinor, whose side visits Tamworth on Saturday, said: “To have Dan and Brendon back is a massive boost for us and gives us an array of attacking talent. You just have to look at the bench on Saturday and the players that missed out to see how strong our squad is at the moment.

“We had the potential to bring on Dan, Brendon and Matt Blinkhorn so to have that kind of firepower on the bench is great as a manager.

“It gives us some difficult decisions to make, but they are the kind of decisions we want.”

While the Coasters currently lead the pack in the league, Challinor insists there is still ‘more to come’ from his in-form side.

“We have found ourselves behind quite a few times this season so for the lads to show the resolve and ultimately the quality to come out of the other side with a result is very pleasing,” he said.

“There are certain things that have been happening on a regular basis this season that we need to cut out and if we can do that then we will be stronger still.

“It is nothing that the opposition are particularly doing, it is usually just problems that we are bringing on ourselves. However, we are still a work in progress and there’s much more to come.”

Fylde’s run of form has coincided with a call up for James Hardy for the England C squad.

Hardy’s form grabbed the attention of England C manager Paul Fairclough, who called the Coasters man into his squad for the match against Estonia under-23s in Tallin next month.

Hardy netted the winner in a crucial 2-1 victory over Harrogate Town at the weekend, taking him to six goals for the season, as Fylde stretched their unbeaten record in the National League North to 15 games.

The former Manchester City man has blossomed since earning a regular starting spot in the side and Challinor insists he will only get better.

“James deserves everything he gets,” he said.

“He’s a level headed young man but knows himself that he is far from the finished article.

“That said, he has made some huge steps forward in a very short period of time and he will continue to improve.

“We have spoken a lot about him shooting more and adding goals to his game so it is very pleasing that he has taken that on board.

“There’s no doubt that he will end up in a central area.”