It’s exciting times on the North West coast in terms of football, with our league rivals AFC Fylde moving into their new ground, and chasing promotion once more to non-league’s top tier.\r\n\r\nNot an old club by any stretch of the imagination, they were formed as recently as 1988 as Kirkham & Wesham before the name AFC Fylde was taken up in 2008, it was in this year that they began their promotion winning season from the North West Counties league to the Northern Premier League.\r\n\r\nIn 2014, the Coasters won promotion for the first time to the Vanarama National League, building on real success and establishing themselves as a side to contend with at this level.\r\n\r\nSince day one in England’s sixth tier Fylde have been itching to win promotion, and in their first season they finished just short, losing in the play-off semi-final to Guiseley.\r\n\r\nWe first met in a league encounter in September 2014, where the visitors came to Whaddon Road and recorded a 2-0 win, but the most entertaining encounter came on the final day of the 2014/2015 season at Kellermargh Park, where four City goals still weren’t enough to grab any points as Fylde ran out 6-4 winners, a real curtain closer.\r\n\r\nLast season gave the Tigers a chance to record their first victory over the Coasters, but we were once again unable to manage it.\r\n\r\nIn Septmber 2015, one year on from our first meeting we succumbed to a 3-1 home loss. Travelling to Kellermargh Park for only our second time, but the final time before the stadium move, we had gone four games unbeaten including three wins. However, Fylde broke out good form with a close 1-0 win.\r\n\r\nIt will be a new ground for us to visit next term, as a new sports complex Mill Farm, which looks, stunning has been opened this week.\r\n\r\nWe know a lot of Tigers fans will be keen to make the long trip to experience the brand new stadium which has been the vision of the club for a long time.\r\n\r\nWe here are of course hoping to move into a ‘new’ ground, by moving home to Meadow Park, I’m sure Fylde will give us plenty of inspiration especially with the latest developments regarding moving back to Gloucester.\r\n\r\nOver the summer they have lost a few key players, including captain Tom Hannigan, Ben Hinchliffe, Adam Sumner, Danny Lloyd and Brad Barnes.\r\n\r\nThey have however recruited well with Barrow’s Steve Williams and Brendon Daniels from Harrogate Town.\r\n\r\nThey have had a bulk of the squad remain from last season as well as adding Crawley Town’s Andy Bond.\r\n\r\nThese signings all come to Mill Farm as the club begin to operate on a full-time basis for the first time, from the start of the 2016/2017 season. Whilst the manager Dave Challinor has signed a contract extension.\r\n\r\nWhilst the UK is blessed with sun, there aren’t many more places brighter than AFC Fylde.

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