Coasters lead the way as training resumes for Fylde coast clubs

Fleetwood's new keeper Matty Urwin
Fleetwood's new keeper Matty Urwin
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AFC Fylde’s first team stars have been put through their paces this week during the first sessions of pre-season training ahead of the new National League North campaign.

The Blackpool and Fleetwood Town squads report in today after their close-season break, but the Coasters kicked off their schedule over the weekend with an introductory fitness session.

Dave Challinor is back taking training

Dave Challinor is back taking training

Training started in earnest this week as Dave Challinor’s side returned to Kellamergh Park with more fitness work on Monday and strength and conditioning work on Tuesday.

Challinor is relatively low on numbers at this stage after several of last season’s squad left for pastures new during the summer.

Those departures included captain Tom Hannigan, Brad Barnes and Danny Lloyd, while defender Josh Langley and top scorer Danny Rowe were also absent but the duo return from holiday today.

Fylde have been left without a goalkeeper following the departure of both Ben Hinchliffe and Matt Urwin and Challinor has been casting his eye over several potential replacements at Kellamergh this week.

The manager stated earlier in the week that he was still on the lookout for as many as six new faces.

Several trialists have joined in training as he looks to bolster his squad for the new campaign.

New boys Steve Williams, Brendon Daniels and Andy Bond, who have all joined the club this summer from Barrow, Harrogate Town and Crawley Town respectively, were all on show.

In addition, the Coasters’ former Scotland international, Stephen Crainey, was undertaking his 16th pre-season as a professional footballer.

Fylde host their first friendly match next Friday (July 8) at Kellamergh against Scottish side Stranraer.

That will be the first of six warm-up matches ahead of the new National League North season.

The Coasters will then line up against Rochdale (H), Nantwich Town (A), Runcorn Town (A) and Oldham Athletic (H).

They will then completing their pre-season schedule against Blackburn Rovers’ Under-21s (H) on Saturday, July 30.

Fixtures for the 2016/17 season are released a week today and the campaign starts a month later on Saturday, August 6.

DANIEL AGNEW