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AFC Fylde: Club Connections

Posted by Kelly Gilchrist
Posted on Thu 13 Apr 2017
Posted in First Team

It only took the solitary goal for Halifax to dispatch a visiting Alfreton Town side at the Shay on Saturday.

Tom Denton’s headed the ball past Fabian Speiss in the second half to defeat the Reds and extend the Shaymen’s unbeaten run to five games. A great time to clinch victory when looking ahead to this Friday’s huge match against league leaders, AFC Fylde. Halifax could reduce the gap to the top to just four points should they defeat the Coasters, who have only recorded one win in their last five games.

Firstly, let’s look back at some players who have been on the books for both Halifax and Fylde…

We’ll start off with a very familiar face – Dion Charles. The current Shaymen, on loan from League One high-flyers Fleetwood Town, was part of the Fylde setup between 2014 and 2016, before moving to the Trawlermen. Northern Ireland Under-21 International Charles scored 18 times in 52 appearances with the Coasters, but moved to Fleetwood in a controversial way. After joining Fleetwood, Fylde stated that he had transferred to Lancashire despite being supposedly contracted to the National League North side. In September 2015, Fylde had announced he Charles had signed a two-year deal; however, the FA found no evidence of this, so Fleetwood could sign the winger on a free.

Next is Harry Winter, who has played for both Fylde and Halifax. Winter joined the Shaymen on loan from Northwich Victoria in the 2009-10 campaign, and despite being recalled by the Trickies, he joined the Shaymen on a permanent basis later that year. However, his season was beset with constant injuries and the midfielder left in 2011. In November 2012, after spells at Hyde and Matlock Town, Winter joined Fylde, spending just under two years at the club before moving onto Chorley. A spell at FC United followed before the 27-year old moved onto the Hatters of Stockport last month.

Left winger Michael Barnes also donned the shirts of Halifax and Fylde. Barnes started on the books of Manchester United, with loan spells at both Chesterfield and Shrewsbury coming in 2008. Soon after, Barnes’ contract at United wasn’t renewed and short term spells at Northwich Victoria and Southport followed before Barnes joined the Shaymen in early 2009. This turned out to be another short stay as in the summer of the same year; Barnes joined Fylde, where he then actually spent six years, before leaving in June 2015.

Current Coasters man Steve Williams is also a former Shaymen. Steve’s early road to a professional contract took four years, playing for the likes of Charnock Richard, Bamber Bridge, and Hyde United, before signing a deal at Bradford City in 2009. The central defender made over 60 appearances for the Bantams before leaving for Macclesfield in 2013. A year later and Williams made the move to the Shay where he made over 25 appearances in just one season. A spell at Barrow followed before his current side Fylde picked him up last summer.

Lastly, we look at Steve Haslam, a current academy coach at Sheffield Wednesday. His ties with the Owls started from the beginning – he made over 140 appearances for his hometown and boyhood club between 1998 and 2004, making his Premier League debut aged just 19 against Liverpool in front of 27,000+ fans…no pressure! Eventually he earned the captain’s armband before being released at the end of the 2003-04 season. Halifax snapped him up and he made over 100 appearances for the Shaymen before joining Bury and then Hartlepool, both clubs where he made over 50 appearances. Steve joined Fylde in 2012 after his spell at Hartlepool and he made eight appearances before taking up his role at Sheffield Wednesday. Fun Fact: Steve captained an England schoolboys team to a 1-0 victory over a Brazilian team. That Brazil squad featured someone called ‘Ronaldinho’…whoever that is.

FC Halifax Town host AFC Fylde on Friday, kick-off at 3pm.

Read more posts by Kelly Gilchrist