AFC Fylde manager Dave Challinor plans to achieve ultimate goal in Wembley play-off final

Dave Challinor thanked the Fylde fans for playing a vital role
Dave Challinor thanked the Fylde fans for playing a vital role

AFC Fylde return to training today to prepare to face Salford City in Saturday’s National League play-off final, the first of of two Wembley visits in nine days.

READ MORE: Fylde boss Dave Challinor looks forward to Wembley finals on successive weekends
The Coasters will return to the national stadium to face league champions Leyton Orient in the FA Trophy final but first Fylde are fully focused on their bid to join the London club in the EFL, just 12 years after the then Kirkham and Wesham FC were playing West Lancashire League football.

This season’s league encounters with Salford City were both won by the away side, Alex Reid’s goal at Moor Lane just a fortnight ago giving Fylde revenge for a 2-0 setback at Mill Farm last September.

Manager Dave Challinor knows those results will have little bearing on Saturday’s outcome and realises that the club which best deals with the magnitude of the match will have an advantage.

the Coasters boss said: “We’re back in on Tuesday to focus on trying to win at Wembley.

“We celebrated Saturday’s win at Solihull Moors and we appreciate the emotion of where we are but the ultimate goal is to be a Football League club.

“We have to prepare for this like any other game but we are very aware it is a massive game.

“We trained at Aston Villa on Friday and spoke with (manager) Dean Smith about the play-off final in the Championship being a hundred million pound game. It’s all relative but this is a million pound game for us with a chance to get in the Football League.

“I’m sure the players will enjoy playing on an unbelievable pitch in an unbelievable stadium but ultimately it’s a game we want to win to take us where we all want to be. It’s a great opportunity we are really focused on taking.”

The Wembley trips are also a reward for the fans, whose support Challinor feels helped his side hold out for victory at Solihull and could do so again in north London.

The Fylde boss added: “They are absolutely amazing and it’s always nice to be able to go over and celebrate with them. We did that at Salford and we are going to do that in the the greatest stadium of football.

“Two visits in a week perhaps isn’t great and will stretch the pursestrings but hopefully they can get there and support us because they were great for us at Solihull.

“The signs were there on Wednesday (in the first-round win over Harrogate Town), when they recognised we needed them towards the end of the game and the main stand started singing.

“At Solihull we had a bit of banter between the standing folk, who normally sing, and the seated folk and there was singing either way, which was brilliant because the players needed that.

“The players are giving everything and the supporters can have a big impact to keep them going.

“To hear them sing, cheer and chant can be just the thing that gets us over the line. That proved to be the case on Saturday and now they have two special days to look forward to.”