AFC Fylde carry on training and raising funds for charity

It’s business as usual at AFC Fylde this week as players continue to train and their Mill Farm base serves as a Covid vaccination centre.

Thursday, 4th March 2021, 11:10 am

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The club is donating all its vaccination fees to the Dogs for Good charity (see below).

The squad and all staff continue to work at Mill Farm in readiness for continuing their season if a vote to declare it null and void can be overturned.

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AFC Fylde captain Nathan Pond (second left) and manager Jim Bentley (second right) with representatives of the Dogs For Good charity at Mill Farm

Fylde were in the minority as clubs from National League North and South voted 24-19 to terminate the season with immediate effect.

However, clubs like Fylde who wish to carry on have joined forces, stating their case to National League general manager Mark Ives in a letter which was last week considered by the FA’s Alliance Committee, which oversees the competition.

In recent days Fylde chief executive Jonty Castle and manager Jim Bentley have spoken of their determination to fight on for promotion on the field this season. The Coasters stand second in NL North and the vote to scrap the season has not yet been ratified by the FA Council.

While Fylde await developments, their hopes were raised by an interview given by Ives to BBC Radio’s Non-League Show.

He said: “I think it’s in the best interest of the league that we should listen to all the clubs, either side of the fence. I believe that’s right.”

He went on to mention “a very well-crafted letter put to the league on what might possibly happen. Do I believe we should consider that? Yes, I do. The gift of this is in the FA as the resolution that has been put together is not binding and the FA have the ability whether to accept it or not.

“Do I think that it’s in our best interests to present everything so that they can consider what is the right thing to do? Yes, of course, I do.”

AFC Fylde has a longstanding relationship with the Dogs for Good charity, which specialises in providing disabled people with expertly trained dogs, and all fees the club receives for its services as a vaccination centre will benefit the charity.

AFC Fylde Chairman David Haythornthwaite said: “As a pet lover, this particular charity is very close to my heart as it combines providing the owner with a soulmate together with unbelievable support.”

Dogs for Good regional fundraiser Vicky Blackmore said: “We’ve been lucky enough to be supported by AFC Fylde for five years now and we feel incredibly grateful that they have taken the decision to further extend their support in this way.

“Over the last 12 months, so much of Dogs for Good’s income has been lost because fundraising activities of the sort AFC Fylde would usually do have just disappeared, so this donation will make a vital difference to our work.

“Each dog costs over £20,000 to get to the stage where they can look after a person on their own and the money raised by Fylde will cover all of the costs for that dog, so it’s an amazing gesture."

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