Mark Yeates targets a promotion push with AFC Fylde

AFC Fylde manager Dave Challinor
AFC Fylde manager Dave Challinor
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Mark Yeates says it has to be AFC Fylde’s ambition to go one better than last season and target promotion to the Football League.

The Coasters were just one game away from doing exactly that last term, only to lose in the play-off final at Wembley against Salford City.

Dave Challinor has since strengthened his squad with some reinforcements, one of whom was Yeates from Eastleigh.

“Between ourselves and the whole group, the gaffer as well, the aim has got to be to try and get out of this league,” said the former Blackpool man.

“Looking at the last two seasons here, Fylde have been unlucky, especially last season when they got to the final although they did win the FA Trophy as well.

“You always want to go one better and one better would obviously be getting out of the league.

“We’re confident. It’s early days and there’s still a few lads who are integrating into the group and everyone is trying to get to know each other.

“But the training camp in Scotland was really good and over the course of pre-season I think we’ll start gelling.

“There’s a lot of good competition in there as well, there’s some good players that we’ve brought in to add to what was already a good squad already.

“We’re just going to try going about our business and first of all have a really good pre-season and hopefully take that into the start of the season.”

The Coasters continued their pre-season preparations with an impressive 1-0 win against Wigan Athletic at Mill Farm on Tuesday night.

“I think it was a typical pre-season game,” Yeates said.

“Obviously they’re a Championship side but we set up well and we did ourselves no harm.

“I think we had a few chances as well, in the second half we might have scored a few more goals. So all in all everyone seems pleased enough.”

Yeates signed on a free transfer after producing an impressive 26 assists last season to help the Spitfires finish in the top seven.

But the playmaker is now looking to the future and is excited by what’s to come.

“Everyone has made me feel really welcome,” he added.

“All the lads who were here last season have been brilliant and the new lads are all in the same boat.

“Everyone is getting to know everyone but it seems like a really good bunch and we’re all just looking forward to the next game.

“We’ve got two good games coming up in Preston and Blackpool which we’re looking forward to.”