Lee to lead line for Fylde

Lee Thorpe

Lee Thorpe

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STRIKER Lee Thorpe has signed for AFC Fylde following his release by Fleetwood Town.

The 35-year-old has over 400 League appearances under his belt and has agreed a 12-month contract at kellamergh Park.

Thorpe said: “I was playing League football last year and had opportunities to play higher up the pyramid, but I’m happy on the Fylde coast and I’m looking forward to getting started and giving 100 per cent.

“I’ve been impressed with (manager) Kelham O’Hanlon’s vision and with what the chairman (Dai Davis) had to say about moving the club forward.

“The club have some exciting plans and are looking to go one better after going so close to winning promotion last season.

“I feel fit and strong, and now I’m a bit older I’ve turned into a target man, so I will put myself about. That’s my style”.

Wolverhampton-born Thorpe started his career as a trainee at Blackpool in 1994 – the first of his 11 League clubs.

He joined Fleetwood Town from Darlington in March 2010 but was a fringe player last season, though he was always happy to help out at centre-half as well as up front.”

O’Hanlon certainly does not see the veteran playing in defence for Fylde. He said: “I have signed him to lead our line and Thorpey ticks all our boxes – he’s powerful, very good at bringing other players into play and unbelievably fit for his age.

“I identified Lee at the back end of last season as a potential target but he was still very much part of Fleetwood’s plans.

“I’m sure he will be a big influence for the football club as we look to the challenge for promotion this season.

“I’ve met Lee on a number of occasions of late and I have been very impressed with his enthusiasm and appetite for the game. The important thing is that he wanted to come to us, which is fantastic for the club.”

Thorpe says he leaves Fleetwood on the best of terms and wishes the Highbury club all the best.

“I enjoyed it at Fleetwood last season but they had a squad that was very strong and I didn’t play as much as I would have liked. I want to play regularly. Everybody was happy that I had done as much as I could in my time there but now it’s a new chapter for me. Fylde are like Fleetwood and want to progress up the leagues.”

Thorpe is Fylde’s third summer signing, following striker Dave Swarbrick from Lancaster and Chester keeper Rick Whiteside and striker Dave Swarbrick.

Thorpe is looking forward to an early reunion with his old Fleetwood team-mates when the clubs meet in Fylde’s first pre-season friendly at Kellamergh Park on Saturday week.

The striker will look forward to chatting with new team-mate John Hills – both began their professional football journey at Bloomfield Road 17 seasons ago.