AFC Fylde boss Nick Chadwick aims for normality in an uncertain week
AFC Fylde are looking ahead to a full week in training but have no idea whether their season will restart on Saturday as planned.
The National League North campaign is due to resume this weekend after a two-week suspension, though it is unclear whether Fylde will face Guiseley at Mill Farm as planned as the league continues to grapple with a funding dispute and health fears.
It is understood clubs across all three divisions of the National League will be invited to vote today on how the season proceeds.
But after a “low-key” first week back after positive Covid tests forced the whole clubs into self-isolation, deputy manager Nick Chadwick aims to step up the preparations this week and maintain an air of normality at the club.
Chadwick told The Gazette: “Everybody has reported back now and we had a good week to get back into it.
“Monday was a bit difficult with the weather but we ran a fitness session down on the beach, then had a few days of football training.”
It can’t be easy to keep players’ spirits up amid such uncertainty but Chadwick says everyone is maintaining a professional outlook.
Fylde opposed the suspension of the campaign, though many clubs are unhappy at a government ruling that any funding to help complete the season will take the form of loans rather than grants.
Fears over the pandemic have also left some clubs reluctant to play on, though Fylde believe all National League clubs should follow their example by introducing regular in-house Covid testing.
Chadwick is focusing on football rather than the politics and added: “We’ve had the email to say the plan is to resume on Saturday, so it’s our responsibility to prepare for a match and that’s what we will do.
“But, yes, there is uncertainty and it’s been stop-start all season. We have spoken to the players before about the challenges of this season, and we are making sure they are well looked after and in the best frame of mind to play.
“So we’re looking forward to a good week of training and fingers crossed for good news about the Guiseley game.”
Some highly positive news last week was the return of manager Jim Bentley to Mill Farm eight weeks after a heart bypass operation.
The Coasters boss made two trips to the club last week and is easing his way back into the role.
Chadwick said of his boss: “Jim is gradually upping his workload in a sensible way.
“It has given everyone around the club a real boost to see him back. He’s doing tremendously well and you could see how delighted he is to be back.”