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AFC Fylde's top target stays the same for owner Haythornthwaite

Manager Dave Challinor and chairman David Haythornthwaite
Manager Dave Challinor and chairman David Haythornthwaite

They are making history as they prepare for their first ever FA Cup second round clash on Friday but AFC Fylde chairman David Haythornthwaite says the target to join opponents Wigan in the Football League is still set at 2022.

ssThey are making history as they prepare for their first ever FA Cup second round clash on Friday but AFC Fylde chairman David Haythornthwaite says the target to join opponents Wigan in the Football League is still set at 2022.

National League side Fylde are building for one of the biggest games in their history as they prepare to host League One leaders Wigan on Friday night.

It is the round’s glamour tie with the 7.55pm clash set to be televised live on BBC2 as the spotlight shines on their Mill Farm base.

After storming to promotion from the National League North last term, Fylde are 16th in the top tier of non-league and seven points behind a play-off spot and seventh-placed Boreham Wood with two games in hand.

But Haythornthwaite is not re-adjusting his targets just yet and says they still have a five-year target to get out of the notoriously tough division.

He said: “We’ll take it early if we can get it!

“We gave ourselves five years to get out of this league and this is our first year in it so that is still our main target.

“It is all down to the manager whether we get there earlier but it has been a tough start for us in this league.

“Every time you go up it is more difficult – whatever level – but I think that we like to call it measured progress, so we have allowed ourselves five years.

“I said to someone it took Forest Green 19 years to get out of this league so I hope it does not take us that long but it is really difficult to get out.

“There is only one automatic promotion spot, you jump up into the next league and there are three automatic promotion spots in League Two so it is a lot easier.

“It is a tough task but if we can get out by 2022 we will have fulfilled our plan, if we can get out earlier that would be great too.”

Fylde have taken precautions this week to ensure that the game, which will generate £200k for the club, goes ahead.

Fylde have had one game postponed against Guiseley this month and one against Maidstone abandoned at half-time in October due to a waterlogged pitch.

But Haythornthwaite said the club had brought in pitch covers at a cost of £3,800 to ward off the frost and bad weather – from a company in Wigan of all places.