Full strength AFC Fylde for final friendly

Dave Challinor
Dave Challinor
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AFC FYLDE stage their final pre-season friendly prior to the big kick-off seven days later when they travel to Leek Town tomorrow.

And places will be up for grabs for the starting line-up to take on Ilkeston Town, a match that kicks off the eagerly-awaited Evo-Stik Premier campaign.

AFC Fylde will be fielding a side near enough to full strength on Saturday, after giving youngsters a chance of a run-out in the friendly win over Bamber Bridge earlier in the week.

Manager Dave Challinor explained: “Some of the lads have played in every pre-season game, and I felt a rest would do them good and get them re-focused again for this weekend.

“A few of the first team players had missed parts of pre-season or not played as much game time, so we gave them a full 90 minutes alongside some of our up-and-coming young players this week.”

Injury doubts remain with James Dean (hamstring) and Joe Booth (stomach)

Dean is expected to start the league season, but Booth is consulting a specialist.

Challinor said: “It is an on-going problem, so we will know more next week on that front.

“Now we are a week or so away everyone has to be in peak condition and be focused – it all starts for real again a week on Saturday, and the competition has never been greater in the squad.

“It will be difficult to name the 16 that travel to Ilkeston, but the lads need to show us that they want that first team spot – it’s going to be a tough opener against another newly-promoted side.”