Tom Walker and Jordan Williams leave AFC Fylde, who hope to sign forward Nyal Bell

Tom Walker and Jordan Williams have left AFC Fylde, who are "very hopeful" of signing Stockport County forward Nyal Bell on loan.

Saturday, 15th August 2020, 8:54 am
Jordan Williams scoring against Notts County, one of his 13 goals for Fylde last season Picture: STEVE MCLELLAN

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Midfielder Walker has joined newly-promoted League Two club Harrogate Town, while winger Williams has agreed a two-year deal with National League club Stockport County, both transfers for undisclosed fees.

Fylde have also revealed plans for Bell to move in the opposite direction as part of the Williams deal. Terms on a permanent move could not be agreed, though the Coasters still hope to sign the 23-year-old on a season-long long.

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Fylde owner David Haythornthwaite spoke of the club's "arrogance and naivete" over the loss of Walker, after Harrogate took advantage of a release clause in his contract activated by relegation.

The midfielder, 24, joined Fylde from Salford City on a two-and-a-half year deal in January, scoring four goals in nine appearances before lockdown.

Haythornthwaite said of Walker's departure: “I’m very sad to see Tom go as we really never got to know him that well. You live and learn and the clause inserted into his contract released him only in the event of relegation.

"At the time it was almost laughable as we considered it inconceivable that could happen. Life does that to you, though, and losing Tom is a result of our arrogance and naivete at that time. I wish him all the best at Harrogate.”

Williams, 27, was midway through a two-year Fylde deal following his departure from Rochdale. He was the Coasters' top scorer last season, with 13 goals from 37 appearances.

A Fylde statement on the wide man's exit reads: "The club understands some fans will no doubt be disappointed with Williams’ departure, especially as it follows so quickly on the heels of Tom Walker leaving.

"However, the circumstances are totally different as in Walker’s case we had no option other than to accept Harrogate’s offer.

"In Williams’ case this was not so, as he still had a year of his contract to run. We therefore had to consider all the factors when deciding whether or not to let Jordan go.

"There was considerable discussion on the subject but the player's desire to go elsewhere combined with what eventually was a very, very good offer from Stockport made the decision easy for us in the end."

Stockport boss Jim Gannon said of the deal: "We have worked with Jordan before at Northwich and really like him as a person and a player. Jordan brings a level of performance and goals which marks him out as an outstanding performer at National League.

"In our ideal squad, we wanted a left attacker who had pace and directness to penetrate, but who also possessed the ability to create and score consistently - a constant threat. Jordan brings that.”

As for the possible arrival of Bell at Fylde, the club adds: "The (Williams) deal, which had been agreed since last Monday, also included Nyal Bell coming to Fylde.

"But unfortunately, despite everyone’s best efforts this week, we were unable to meet his agent's terms.

"Jim (Bentley, Fylde boss) and the management team really like Nyal but we have limits to where we will go.

"However, we are still very hopeful Nyal will come to us on a season-long loan, although this has still to be agreed with Stockport."

The 23-year-old Mancunian joined Stockport two seasons ago from Gateshead, helping County to win the National League North title and then making 37 National League appearances last season, scoring six goals.

He started his career at Rochdale, playing three times in League One in 2014-15, and has had loan spells at four non-league clubs.