Baker exit as Fylde ‘turnaround’ begins

Richie Baker
Richie Baker
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Attacking midfielder Richie Baker has confirmed his departure from AFC Fylde as manager Dave Challinor gets to grips with the “nasty part” of his job – letting players go.

Baker took to Twitter to confirm his exit from the Vanarama National North champions.

He wrote: “It’s sad to say I’ll be leaving. On to new beginnings and the next challenge.All the best to the club.”

Baker joined Fylde from Stockport County in March, 2015, having previously made 128 League appearances for Bury.

Almost half of the Coasters’ title-winning team are out of contract this summer and Challinor admitted that releasing players is far from his favourite part of the job.

The Fylde boss said: “I suppose this is the nasty part of the year.

“It’s hard after a successful season, when the lads have done really well, and I can’t thank them enough.

“But we have to move on and ultimately that means that some players have to move on too.

“We have to look at our expectations for next season and how we move our structure forward to achieve those goals.

“We have spoken to most of the players and we have had conversations with some new targets too.

“Hopefully over the next couple of weeks we can get a few deals done so that we can all get some down time to relax for a week or so.

“There will be quite a big turnaround in terms of playing staff.

“We have nine players contracted at this stage. There are areas where we have been very good and areas where we know we can improve.

“Although we have been successful it would be remiss of us not to look at where we can get better.

“We have to be ruthless but people accept that’s the business we are in.

“We have to find players that fit the bill for the next level and our recruitment will reflect that.”

Challinor has had held a “positive” meeting with the club regarding his player budget.

He said: “We will have an increased budget for the playing staff and it is a budget I believe will make us competitive.

“We have had some very positive meetings and set out our expectations.

“There will be costs you don’t factor in until now, like the extra cost for travel, which is massive.

“We also need to spend on the infrastructure and getting people in. All these things add to what is already a big increase in expense,”