AFC Fylde look to strengthen as soon as possible

Joe Cardle celebrates his second and final Fylde goal against Aldershot in September             Picture: Steve McLellan
Joe Cardle celebrates his second and final Fylde goal against Aldershot in September Picture: Steve McLellan

AFC Fylde manager Dave Challinor hopes to sign a replacement for departed attacker Joe Cardle before their return to action at Dagenham and Redbridge a week tomorrow.

The club announced on Tuesday that their 31-year-old summer signing had left by mutual agreement to reunite with his family in Scotland, where he played for the previous decade.

Cardle has been a major part of Challinor’s plans this season, featuring in all but two of the Coasters’ 19 National League games this season and scoring twice.

The Fylde boss told The Gazette: “Us not having a game this weekend made it easier to make the announcement when we did. It gave us a week-and-a-bit to get a replacement in.

“Joe made a big impact when he joined us and he made a real difference in every training session, but he hasn’t been himself for the last few weeks and has had things on his mind.

“He hadn’t been out of line at all but you could just see little signs, so we spoke to him about the situation.

“There were no issues with his effort or performances but his mind has been elsewhere.

“The plan was for his family to relocate, though there have been complications and ideally he should be with them.”

Challinor’s side are in the middle of a two-week break between fixtures as they are not involved in the FA Cup this weekend, having been beaten by Chesterfield in the final qualifying round.

However, the lack of a Saturday game doesn’t mean Challinor has gone any easier on his players in training this week.

“We’ve had a pretty normal week,” he explained. “We had our usual recovery day on Monday and the Tuesday session was tough.

“It was another normal intensive session on Thursday and we’ll probably play an in-house game on Friday, which keeps everyone involved. It’s also good for the lads who need the minutes.

“If everyone goes properly we will have the weekend off, which the players have deserved based on what they have done so far.

“Then we’ll be back in on Monday and focus on what we’ve got to do at Dagenham.”

Fylde will be forced into at one change in the south-east, with full-back Zaine Francis-Angol once again on international duty with Antigua and Barbuda.

Challinor added: “We will look to put a plan together to go and win there. We had a poor performance there last season(losing 2-0 in March) and in my eyes we’ve got things to prove down there.

“We’ll look to bounce back from the Leyton Orient defeat and go to put in a positive performance on the back of two really good weeks of training.”