Challinor: Tough summer awaits Fylde, promoted or not

Dave Challinor
Dave Challinor
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Manager Dave Challinor has already started window shopping regardless of which  division AFC Fylde are in next season.

READ MORE: Challinor keeps it simple - win and we're in
Fylde have one game left at Wrexham tomorrow lunchtime to hold on to their National League play-off spot and keep their dream of back-to-back promotions alive.

But Challinor says a summer of hard work lies ahead whether the club climbs into the Football League at the first attempt or not.

Fylde will again be competing with full-time National League clubs and with League Two sides for players, and Challinor says the work to build on and learn from this season has already begun as the Coasters continue to target a place in the Football League by 2022.

He told The Gazette: “I think learning and correcting things becomes the important bit. Regardless of what happens, our recruitment is going to be massive.

“Whenever the season may finish, that is when the hard work starts to get a squad together, whether it is retaining players you have currently or getting the new ones in.

“Everyone is fighting for the same players and it does become tough, but I’m really positive and confident with where we are at. We know what we need to improve and learn from.

“We can still have a positive outcome and hopefully our season has a couple of weeks left.

“But regardless, plans are in place looking forward to next season. The hard work has already started but will continue over the summer.”

Victory in the 12.30pm kick-off at the Racecourse would see Fylde remain sixth at worst but could lift them to fourth or fifth, which would mean a home tie in the first round of the play-offs next Wednesday or Thursday.

A draw would suffice to keep Fylde in the top seven unless Bromley won by six goals at Maidenhead.

Victory would give opponents Wrexham a slim chance of sneaking into the play-off zone, though they can’t realistically overtake Fylde due to the gulf in goal difference.

Challinor said: “There would have to be a huge swing for Wrexham to go ahead of us because we are 16 goals ahead.

“But daft as it sounds, it would be a positive thing if they did get in the play-offs because we would be in too!

“But Wrexham are relying on the three teams above them not winning, so it is a faint hope for them ultimately.

“We know a point gets us in but three points is massive because you are looking at a home elimination game rather than travelling.

“But it is just about getting in, so we are going there to win to guarantee it.”