Friendlies boost AFC Fylde’s profile

Danny Rowe is set to feature for AFC Fylde against Preston North End'                      Picture: Steve McLellan
Danny Rowe is set to feature for AFC Fylde against Preston North End' Picture: Steve McLellan

AFC Fylde boss Dave Challinor says the club’s high-profile summer friendlies at Mill Farm can only be a good thing for the Coasters.

Challinor’s men are due to kick off their pre-season preparations this afternoon with a home friendly against neighbours Preston North End.

Fylde are also due to take on Blackpool later this month before they turn their focus to the new National League season, while they will also host League Two side Carlisle United.

“Preston are obviously a really good side and we’re hoping the game will be played in front of a good crowd as well,” Challinor told The Gazette.

“Given the issues with our pitch last season, we initially thought it would be difficult to get these high-profile games at Mill Farm, so to get Preston and Blackpool here as well as Carlisle is great for us.

“Most of our lads are still getting used to pre-season so most of them are probably looking at playing 45 or 60 minutes. The most anyone will play will be 60.

“As I’ve said before, results of pre-season friendlies are not the most important thing. It’s important the new guys bed in to how we want to play in what will be our first competitive game.”

Meanwhile, Challinor confirmed there is nothing to update regarding the future of the club’s star man Danny Rowe.

Rowe scored 28 times last season as Fylde finished in the play-offs – their highest ever position.

That form has piqued the interest of a number of clubs this summer, but for Challinor the figures being mentioned by one unnamed club do not meet his valuation of a player he would find very difficult to replace.

While clubs have shown an interest in the striker, Challinor expects the 28-year-old to be lining up for the Coasters next season.

“There’s no change with that situation and to be honest, I don’t envisage there being one,” he added.

“We are planning to start the season with Danny and he will be playing some minutes in our game against Preston this weekend.

“Unless I’m told different, that’s the situation.”

Fylde’s second pre-season friendly comes at Squires Gate on Tuesday, which kicks off at 7.45pm.