New AFC Fylde keeper Bobby Jones ready to learn from Chris Neal and compete for his shirt

New AFC Fylde goalkeeper Bobby Jones is looking forward to learning from Coasters number one Chris Neal and competing for his jersey.

Friday, 25th June 2021, 12:30 pm

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The 35-year-old Neal and Jones, 19, may be at opposite ends of the experience spectrum but Fylde’s latest signing believes they can complement and help each other.

Teenager Jones, without a club since leaving Wigan Athletic in February, is hoping for a career breakthrough at Mill Farm, whereas Neal has represented seven clubs in the EFL, most recently Fleetwood Town and Salford City.

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Goalkeeper Bobby Jones signs for AFC Fylde, flanked by manager Jim Bentley (right) and chief executive Joney Castle.

Jones, who has signed a one-year deal with the option of a second, told the club website: “I’m really looking forward to working with Nealo.

“With his experience of working in the league all his career, I can really use that to help me and help to push him as well. I hope to push on, get in the side and help the lads towards promotion.”

Jones is also delighted at being reunited with his former Wigan academy coach Nick Chadwick, now assistant manager at Fylde.

He added: “I’m over the moon to have signed and have enjoyed training over the last couple of weeks. I have done well and have been rewarded with the contract.

“I have been on trial at a few places but I’ve really enjoyed it here and have done well.

“Nick being here made the decision loads easier because I really enjoyed working with him in the past. He’s brought the best out of me.”

Jones never featured in the Wigan first team but has gained experience of non-league football in loan spells at Warrington Town and Fylde’s National League North rivals Farsley Celtic.

“Those experiences have helped me to mature as I player,” he added, “so I know what the men’s game is going to be. I know in my mind what I’m going to expect when the games come about.

“I like the feeling around the place at Fylde. I feel it is a really good club that is on the up, with really good ambitions. The facilities are top-class and all the lads and staff are really good.”

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