Ashley Eastham sees no reason why Fleetwood Town cannot challenge for promotion

Fleetwood Town's Ashley Eastham
Fleetwood Town's Ashley Eastham

Ashley Eastham believes Fleetwood Town can reach the Championship if they keep hold of the core of last season’s squad as well as adding some extra quality this summer.

Eastham signed a contract extension last season that saw him commit his future to the club until 2021.

Having joined Town in 2016 from Rochdale on a free transfer, the central defender is keen to see the League One side make the step up to the next level after finishing 11th at the end of Joey Barton’s first year in charge at Highbury.

Versatile attacker-turned-right-back Wes Burns committed his future to Town this summer with top scorer Paddy Madden also signing a fresh deal.

Winger Ash Hunter and keeper Alex Cairns are also tied down and Eastham wants Town to build upon those contracts.

However, Town also have to fill the gaps created by the departures of loanees Ched Evans, Lewie Coyle, Jason Holt, Harry Souttar and James Husband.

Eastham said: “I believe with the players we have got and staff we have in place, with a sprinkling of new quality I think we can do it.”

Town’s players signed off their Highbury season with a 2-1 victory against Sunderland in the penultimate game of the campaign at the end of April.

Eastham believed that win was due reward for the fans and the way they got behind the team last season.

He said: “Thanks so much for the support.

“We were pleased as players on that Tuesday night to send them away from Highbury and off on their summer holidays with a win.”