Two AFC Fylde signings please boss Jim Bentley but striker search continues
AFC Fylde boss Jim Bentley is delighted with this week’s two signings, even if the striker they most crave remains elusive.
The Coasters are looking forward to kicking-off for 2022 at Leamington tomorrow, having been forced to postpone their first two National League North fixtures of the year because of a Covid outbreak.
This week’s new signings, midfielder Danny Whitehead and left-back Jack Evans, are both available to make their debut in Warwickshire.
Evans arrived on loan yesterday from League Two leaders Forest Green Rovers, providing welcome cover with Luke Conlan still out injured.
Fylde hope to welcome back winger Nathan Shaw after injury tomorrow but it’s up front where the fourth-placed Coasters are most stretched.
Stephen Dobbie and Joe Piggott remain unavailable because of injury, while Jordan Hulme will see out the season on loan with Altrincham at the level above.
Boss Bentley told The Gazette: “Joe Piggott will be out for some time with a hip injury. Stephen Dobbie is back running after a calf problem but isn’t ready yet.
“A striker is our priority but we’ve been frustrated so far.
“We’ve put a couple of offers in and offered a deal to one player who has gone to another club, but that’s football.
“At least we’re getting some competition in other areas, which is the most important thing, with Danny and Jack eligible and potentially in the squad at Leamington.”
Bentley was back at work yesterday after a period of self-isolation following a positive test, and he’s pleased to report the club have overcome the Covid problems which forced the training ground to remain closed all last week.
“We still have one player off with Covid,” Bentley explained, “but the lads have been back in training since Monday.
“Those who tested positive have all been going through their ‘return-to-play’ protocols. One or two were affected worse than others, so it’s a situation we have to manage.”
Fylde Women are at home for the second successive Sunday as they welcome Middlesbrough to Kellamergh Park in the Women’s FA National Northern Premier (2pm).
Having kicked-off 2022 with a 2-0 home success against Loughborough Lightning, second-placed Fylde know that victory by two goals will lift them to the top as leaders Derby County don’t play this weekend.
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