Back to the future for Fleetwood's latest signing Coyle
Fleetwood new boy Lewie Coyle's pathway to first team football began with a pre-season trip to Austria '“ and it is a case of deja vu as Town's latest signing prepares to return to the same Alpine retreat with the same boss, Uwe Rosler.
Rosler was Leeds boss when he chose defender Coyle to make the trip to Kossen in 2015, and now the 21-year-old will make the same journey with Fleetwood this Sunday after agreeing a season-long loan from Elland Road.
Coyle made 23 appearances for Rosler’s old club over the last two seasons and has now stepped down a division to League One as he bids to fill the right wing-back spot left vacant by Conor McLaughlin’s move to Millwall.
Hull-born Coyle will join Town’s three other new first-team signings – striker Conor McAleny, midfielder Kyle Dempsey and defender Harvey Rodgers – in travelling to Kossen, close to the German border, for a week-long camp.
Dempsey needs no introduction, having won the club’s young player of the season prize while on loan from Huddersfield, but Rosler believes the trip will help the new blood to bed in and boost squad morale even more.
Coyle said of his reunion with Rosler: “He was one of the first managers to bring me through and I went on my first pre-season tour with him.
“Both him and Rob Kelly (Town’s assistant boss) were big factors in me coming here. I’m looking forward to getting back into it.
“I like to get forward but my main job is to defend. I’m nice and aggressive. I like to play football and I want to be part of a successful team.
“Hopefully I can return to Leeds as a more developed player and help them kick on. I want to give my all at Fleetwood, then hopefully go back and do the same at Leeds.”
Looking ahead to the trip, Rosler said: “I think we have planned certain activities, training and games, but also social activities.
“I had a very good experience doing that with the Leeds team, and in terms team-building I’m sure we are further ahead than that team I had at Leeds, where I had just started.
“The new players will be easily integrated with the group of players we have in the dressing room and the week will help a lot.”
Fleetwood will play two games on the continent: against German third tier side Karlsruher SC next Tuesday at SV Kopfgarten (3pm UK time) and top-flight Czech side FK Jablonec the following Saturday at FC Kossen (5pm).
Rosler knows Jablonec will be tough opposition in only Town’s third game of pre-season – they kick-off against Scottish side Queen of the South at Poolfoot Farm on Friday (3pm, free entry).
Rosler said: “I’ve been there (Kossen) before – the same hotel, the same pitches.
“I know the organisers really well. They organised my two (trips) with Wigan and one with Leeds, and they did really well. We feel we are in good hands.
“It’s one week, Sunday to Sunday, with two good games, though the second game is probably a little bit too strong.
“We could not get the level (of opposition) I was looking for. It was only top, top teams who wanted to play us and I didn’t really want to play against a Czech Premier League team at that stage of pre-season.
“But that is what we could get and I think we will get the best out of it. It will be a big test and I’d rather we play stronger opposition, then we know where we are.”
Fleetwood also signed attacking midfielder Harrison Biggins yesterday from NPL Premier Division side Stocksbridge Park Steels on a two-year deal.
The 21-year-old was crowned Non-League Yorkshire’s Player of the Season and will initially link-up with Paul Murray’s development squad as he bids to follow in the footsteps of England star Jamie Vardy, who made his name at Town after playing for Stocksbridge.