With the Easter period, just around the corner, FC Halifax Town are preparing for arguably their most important game of the season, as AFC Fylde make the journey to the MBi Shay Stadium for Friday’s fixture.
A win for Town would see them close the gap to within four points of the league leaders, therefore providing the possibility of a serious challenge for the top spot come the end of the season.
Ahead of Friday’s game, we look at ten things you may not have known about our opposition.
1. Formed less than 30 years ago, AFC Fylde were originally born under the name of Kirkham and Wesham. This came following the merge of two separate footballing sides, Kirkham Town and Wesham.
2. The club adopted its current name at the start of the 2008/09 season, keeping their existing nickname as ‘the Coasters’. Funnily enough, Fylde’s Mill Farm stadium is situated just ten miles from the Lytham St Anne’s coast, wonder how they came up with that nickname…
3. Fylde are currently in their third consecutive season in the Vanarama National League North, following promotion from the Northern Premier League at the end of the 2013/14 season.
4. Since becoming a part of the National League North, the Coasters have finished in the top three for both seasons. Their first season saw a second-place finish, only to lose 3-1 on aggregate in the play-off semi-final to Guiseley.
5. The following season will be familiar to some of our very own staff and players. This time, Fylde reached the play-off final where they faced none other than Billy Heath’s North Ferriby United. Not only that, the Coasters were cruelly defeated by an extra time goal, scored by Shayman, Danny Hone.
6. Fylde’s manager is former Tranmere Rovers and Stockport County defender, Dave Challinor. Challinor took over the top job six years ago, after leaving Colwyn Bay in 2011.
7. In his playing days, Challinor previously held the world record for the longest throw in a football match, measuring at 46.3 metres. Whilst playing for Stockport County, Challinor famously broke the leg of Martin Pringle in two places and ended his career. Carlton Palmer, Stockport’s player-manager at the time, fined him two weeks’ wages for what was described as a “horrendous tackle”.
8. Moving on to the town of Poulton-le-Fylde now and it once became a key centre for trade in the nineteenth century, due to its positioning on the River Wyre. Some examples of the types of imports were timber from North America, and tallow (a form of beef or mutton fat) from Russia.
9. As nearby Blackpool developed into a holiday resort around the same time, Poulton saw a lot of tourist influx due to the transport systems at the time. Before the completion of the rail link in 1846, people would travel to Poulton by train before heading for Blackpool on horse-drawn carriages.
10. Finally, a few famous faces connected to the Poulton-le-Fylde area include ventriloquist Keith Harris (who lived in the area) along with guitarist Andy Summers, best known as a member of rock band, The Police.
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