League clubs chase Coasters’ ace

Charles - new deal

Charles - new deal

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Cardiff City and Coventry City are among the clubs tracking AFC Fylde’s emerging talent Dion Charles

The Sky Blues’ interest was such that they wanted to take the teenager on trial at the Ricoh Arena, says Fylde manager Dave Challinor.

Charles’ form has been so good that the Coasters, currently second in the Vanarama National North, tied him down to a two-year deal with an option for a further 12 months.

Midfielder Charles has also been selected for an England C training camp in Warwick over the coming week, a clear sign that his progress is being noted in the right circles.

Coasters manager Dave Challinor said: “Mark Venus (the Coventry assistant) inquired to see if they could take Dion on trial.

“He is aware of interest from Football League clubs, but he knows that this is the right place for him to develop as a player. He is an important part of the squad and is now a full-time footballer in essence.

“Dion came to us last season and he gave us every indication he had something.

“I spoke to him at the end of last season and told him to go away in the summer to work hard on his fitness and strength.

“He took on board what we said and he came back flying in the pre-season. His performances have been good, though there are still areas that he needs to work on.”

The Coasters are finalising preparations for Saturday’s FA Cup second qualifying round tie at home to Stockport County.

It is one of the ties of the day but Fylde go into the match without their latest acquisition, Akil Wright, signed on loan from Fleetwood Town.

Wright impressed on his debut in the 3-0 win over Boston United on Saturday. But Fleetwood have put the block on Wright playing as they don’t want him up-tied.

Challinor said: “We knew that would be the case when we signed him, but we went back to Fleetwood to see if they would change their mind. They said again they did not want him to play in the FA Cup and we have to accept that.”

It is the second meeting between AFC Fylde and Stockport in recent weeks.

Stockport, Challinor’s former club, won 3-2 at Kellamergh Park in the league on August 31.