AFC Fylde’s fans have a crucial role in the club’s development

AFC Fylde manager Dave Challinor      Picture: Steve McLellan
AFC Fylde manager Dave Challinor Picture: Steve McLellan

Dave Challinor says AFC Fylde’s fans have a vital role to play in the club’s constant evolution both on and off the pitch.

Challinor attended a fans’ forum at Mill Farm on Saturday, when chairman David Haythornthwaite confirmed a new North Stand would be built as an all-standing home end.

The growth off the pitch mirrors the success on it, with Challinor’s side currently occupying a play-off place in the National League.

When asked about the fans’ forum, Challinor told The Gazette: “I went there, then went to a game in the afternoon. It’s always good to speak to the fans. The turnout was good.

“I’m very honest, sometimes a bit too much. But I’ve got nothing to hide in terms of what we do.

“It’s good from my perspective to answer any questions the fans have got about how we do things and where people are in terms of my thoughts on the squad and how we’ve started.

“From the club’s perspective, and certainly the chairman’s perspective, it’s good to get feedback from fans on things they would like to see done better or improved.

“I think, for everyone, it was a good afternoon, a couple of hours where we got to chat informally and answer some questions. Hopefully everyone enjoyed it.

“It’s something we’re looking to do quarterly, maybe three or four times a season, where we can update people and fans can come and talk openly and put their points forward and see where things are at.

“Expectations have risen because of last year, which in fairness during my time at the club, has happened season after season.

“We are a little bit of a victim of our own success but we wouldn’t want it any other way. It has been a gradual upturn in the club moving forwards. We’ve continued to progress and evolve and long may that continue.

“Signs, from my perspective, are really positive and I think the supporters see that. We’re growing as a club and they’re a vital part of that.”

After a two-week break, Fylde return to action today as they travel to struggling Dagenham and Redbridge.

Challinor said: “Their form has picked up as a result of their recent takeover so we’re expecting a tough game. It’s a difficult place to go to anyway, but they’ve got themselves into a little bit of form.

“It’s a game that is a lot tougher now than it might have been four to six weeks ago, but we go there full of confidence. But I’m more than confident we can go there and get a result.”