AFC Fylde's in-demand Jay Lynch named National League's goalkeeper of the year

Jay Lynch and James Hardy with their awards
Jay Lynch and James Hardy with their awards

AFC Fylde's Jay Lynch has been named as the best non-league goalkeeper in the country.

READ MORE: AFC Fylde striker Danny Rowe admits his future is uncertain

The 26-year-old shot stopper has been one of the stars for his club as they made it all the way to the National League playoff final before losing 3-0 to Salford City – his former club – last weekend.

Despite his club’s disappointment at Wembley, Lynch still scooped the Reusch Goalkeeper of the Year at The National Game Awards in association with Buildbase.

And the judges are not the only ones eyeing up his talent with rumours circulating about potential moves to Barnsley and Plymouth Argyle.

“I’m delighted to be recognised, particularly for all the hard work which has gone into the season at AFC Fylde,” he said.

“The main part of my game is my distribution but I’m not sure if that’s what the judges would look for.

“I like to be vocal, make saves and come for crosses to take pressure off my team. I’ve improved a lot at AFC Fylde and people have noticed that.

“I’m out of contract so everything is up in the air. Ideally, I would like to test myself in league football again and prove a lot of people wrong by doing that.”

Lynch’s club could yet finish the season with silverware as they face off against the best-team in non-league football, League Two-bound Leyton Orient, in the FA Trophy final on Sunday.

The two league fixtures between the clubs went the way of the Londoners, with 2-0 and 3-1 wins, who finished four places and eight points above their fellow finalists.

And Lynch hopes it will be a day to remember at Wembley – in what could be his last game for the club against the toughest of opposition.

“After experiencing Wembley for the first time this Saturday it definitely feels like a place for winners,” he said.

“Losing there was not good but hopefully we can finish the season there with a trophy.

“You almost wanted the game to be the next day because we want to get on with it. We want to get the fans the win they deserve because we have not done ourselves justice.

“We didn’t play as well as we can do against Salford. Hopefully we can put that right against Leyton Orient.

“I think they’ll keep me busy, we’ve played twice this season and not beaten them yet.”

Lynch spent time at Bolton Wanderers and Accrington Stanley in the football league before dropping down to Salford in 2014.

He established himself as number one at his hometown club before moving to Fylde two seasons ago.

The keeper believes the game time he has built up has made him into an award-winning player and wants to see others do the same, with the chance to enjoy similar “fairy-tale” seasons like he did this term with Dave Challinor‘s men.

“It’s been a bit of a fairy-tale year with Fylde, even more so if we had the ending in the playoff final,” Lynch added.

“The Fylde fans have been different class. It’s not cheap going to Wembley twice so you have to be impressed when they come out in numbers.

“We are expecting more for the cup final than last weekend so I look forward to hearing them sing our names.

“From my own point of view non-league helped me to get games. Then you can climb your way back up the pyramid.

“A lot of players are realising that now because the step from non-league up to League Two is not that big.”

Lynch's teammate James Hardy claimed the England C Player of the Year.

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