Paul Stewart column: AFC Fylde’s star striker is worth the gamble

Danny Rowe's goalscoring record for AFC Fylde should have attracted interest from clubs higher up the pyramid''     Picture: Steve McLellan
Danny Rowe's goalscoring record for AFC Fylde should have attracted interest from clubs higher up the pyramid'' Picture: Steve McLellan
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This week I caught up for a chat with AFC Fylde’s goal machine Danny Rowe.

I have known Danny and his brother for some time, but I wanted to sit down with him and find out what makes him tick

His goalscoring record with AFC Fylde is phenomenal; since 2014 he has played 188 games, scoring an incredible 154 goals, but I couldn’t help but wonder whether or not he had the ambition to play at a higher level.

I met with him at the back of Herons Reach Golf Club, and one can’t help but notice, for someone who has, season after season, scored more than 25 goals, he comes across rather shy.

I find this rare in a striker of his stature; the strikers I played with at my various clubs displayed an edge and an air of confidence that set them aside from other players.

I didn’t feel that talking to Danny; however after five minutes of chit chat, and when asked about his goalscoring exploits, one could feel that confidence starting to come through.

When I asked him for his goals per game stats, you could see he was immensely proud at what he has done for Fylde, but there was also a tinge of disappointment that he hasn’t yet had the chance to display his goalscoring prowess at league level.

Now 29 and probably at the peak of his career, I am bemused that a league club hasn’t taken a punt and spent £200,000-£300,000 on a proven goalscorer.

In today’s market surely it wouldn’t be that much of a gamble.

Anyone that looks at the results week in week out – and in particular AFC Fylde’s – then it’s hard to ignore when the name Danny Rowe is more often than not on the scoresheet.

The longer we chatted, the more you could see that if he doesn’t get the chance at a higher level, he’s always going to ask himself or wonder ‘what if?’.

I thought at first it was because Danny was comfortable in his home town and AFC was ideal, but he dismissed that notion when I put it to him.

He most definitely wants to progress, so it beggars belief that the local league clubs haven’t snapped him up before now, in particular Fleetwood Town, Blackpool, Preston, Blackburn to name just a few; none can really say they have a proven goalscorer in their ranks, and in fact, wouldn’t relish one with his record.

I wonder if clubs have come knocking and been put off as AFC’s owner has stated he wants to take them into the league.

It would be safe to say AFC would not have achieved what they have without his goals, and, talking to Danny, he doesn’t seem the type of lad that would cause an issue at the club just to get a move.

Although, one couldn’t blame him if he acted like some Premier League players who decide not to turn up to training and stay away from the club to force a move.

My personal view is that he deserves a chance at a higher level; his goals and consistency would suggest that.

I do hope that he is not being held back because he has shown loyalty and professionalism – and for those two things alone he deserves a shot!

Tickets remain available for the ‘Evening with Paul Stewart’ at Viva Blackpool, Church Street, on Friday, September 21.

Tickets are priced £30 and are available from the venue by contacting 01253 297297 or online via www.vivablackpool.com or @vivablackpool