Luke Joyce vows to earn place in AFC Fylde team but admits: Experience gives me no right to a shirt
Luke Joyce is determined to become a regular fixture in the AFC Fylde team next season – but the midfielder knows he'll have to earn his place despite his impressive CV.
The 33-year-old has amassed more than 500 EFL appearances over a 15-year career and hopes that experience will benefit the Coasters squad in their promotion quest from National League North.
Bolton-born Joyce, who joins Fylde after three years at Port Vale, told the club's website: "You are always trying to help people, whether that's on the pitch or away from it.
"But it won’t be me trying to dictate to people because I’ve played 'x' number of league games. It’s just trying to do what’s best for the team and the club, and if anything I can bring helps the club that’s brilliant.
"My individual goal is to be on the teamsheet every week. I know I have no divine right to be, so I have to earn that and make sure I’m performing.
"It’s well known Fylde want to be playing higher up the pyramid so the ambition has to be promotion, ideally as champions, and step up to that next level."
Joyce's extensive career, mostly with Accrington Stanley and Carlisle United, has brought him into contact with Fylde manager Jim Bentley frequently, an acquaintance which made it all the easier for the midfielder to sign on the dotted line.
He added: “I’ve known Jim a long time. I played against him years and years ago when he was at Morecambe and I’ve done a couple of courses with him through the PFA.
“I played against his teams numerous times, so that relationship has kind of built up over time and he’s enquired about me a couple of times over that period.
“He got in touch a few weeks ago. I came up to see the stadium and facilities, and I was really impressed. Going home afterwards I was buzzing about it and it was good to have that sort of feeling.
"I know Jim and all the staff come from a good footballing background. I spoke to a couple of the lads I know, Jack Sampson and Luke Conlan, and they had nothing but positive things to say, so it was a no-brainer really .
“I played at Fylde for Accrington about 10 years ago and remember seeing the sign there, saying they wanted to get into the Football League. They have ambition and direction and I want to be a part of that.”
As to what sort of on-field contribution supporters can expect from Joyce, he explained: "I'm a defensive midfielder really, giving that security to the defence.
"I like to try to get on the ball, retain possession and give it to players who are maybe more exciting to watch.
" I’ve created that little niche for myself over the last five or six years. I like getting into positions where I can stop the opposition playing forward, and where I can win possession and keep the ball myself.
"I’m just looking forward to integrating into the group and being involved as much as possible."
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