Defenders commit for another season

Defender Phil Doughty

Defender Phil Doughty

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AFC FYLDE defenders Michael Stringfellow and Phil Doughty have committed themselves to the club for a further season – but strikers Andy Bell and Kevin Townson have been released.

Stringfellow, who is happy to stay, said: “I would have agreed things sooner, but with the arm injury a wedding and a honeymoon I’ve been busy.

“I really enjoyed it at the club last season, and although we were all disappointed in the way it ended in the play-off final, we had a great season winning some silverware at the Reebok and coming 90 minutes away from promotion.

“It wasn’t the best of finishes for me, I ended up with a broken arm and I’m getting the cast of next week.

“I’ll be back for pre-season training at the beginning of July, raring to go again.”

Townson was a scoring sensation when he signed for Fylde in October last year after a spell abroad playing for Melbourne Knights in Australia.

The former Rochdale, Macclesfield and TNS striker scored 22 goals in just 35 games for the Coasters but an injury sustained against Curzon Ashton in January halted his progress.

Bell, recruited from Fleetwood Town, scored 11 goals in 39 appearances, many of those from the bench.

Manager Kelham O’Hanlon thanked the players for their contribution and wished them both well for the future.

“They are both great lads who contributed with 33 goals last season, but we have decided it’s best they move on for a new challenge and we wish them well.”

O’Hanlon is still making decisions on a handful of last season’s squad but also has his sights set on other targets to improve the squad following the additions of keeper Rick Whiteside from last season’s champions Chester and striker Dave Swarbrick from Lancaster.

Season tickets have gone on sale – adult tickets cost £112, while concessions are £75 (senior citizens, students, disabled).

There is a new ticket aimed at teenagers called pay your age (from 13 years to 16). Under-12s are free.

Pre-season fixtures:

July 12: Longridge Town v AFC Fylde, kick off 7.30pm.

July 16: AFC Fylde v Fleetwood Town, kick off 3pm.

July 19: AFC Fylde v Southport, kick off 7.45pm

July 23: Barnoldswick Town v AFC Fylde, kick off 3pm

July 27: AFC Fylde v Middlesbrough XI, kick off 7.45pm

July 30: Whitley Bay v AFC Fylde, kick off 3pm.

August 2nd: AFC Fylde v Morecambe XI, kick off 7.45pm.