AFC Fylde are chasing a midfielder in the run-up to tomorrow’s big kick-off.
Coasters’ manager Dave Challinor is hoping to get his man in time for tomorrow’s visit to Solihull Moors in the Conference North.
The Fylde boss is optimistic of the deal for the central midfielder going through, but says it could be an 11th hour call.
It will be testing first assignment tomorrow for AFC Fylde, who were runners-up last season to champions Barrow, but missed out in the play-offs, losing both legs to Guiseley, who ultimately went on to get promotion by beating Chorley over two legs in the play-off decider.
Now Dave Challinor’s Coasters have to carry the burden of favouritism going into the 2015-16 campaign and they take on a Solhull team who have been very active in the transfer market over the summer recess.
They have raided local rivals such as Kidderminster and Nuneaton, augmenting their squad with seven signings.
By contrast, AFC Fylde have been nowhere like as busy.
Their new recruits have been Dom Collins and Matty Hughes, while the likes of Joe Booth, Michael Barnes, Dave Hankin, Luke Denson and Liam Tomsett have all left.
Challinor is pleased with how pre-season has gone in a schedule which culminated in a 5-1 home win over a Blackburn Rovers XI at Kellamergh Park on Tuesday.
There will be a fitness test for Hughes, who was signed in the close season from Fleetwood Town.
He has been carrying a toe injury, but is expected to be ok for the trip to Solihull.
Matty Blinkhorn did not play against Blackburn on account of a gluteus muscle injury, but should be fit.
Challinor does not think that being favourites to win the title after last season’s near-miss is a burden.
The Coasters are favourites with most of the leading bookmakers to go one better than last season’s second place and go one better by gaining automatic promotion.
He said: “The bookies don’t often make a mistake - let’s hope they are right this time - they have obviously made us favourites for a reason>”
Challinor continued: “It has been a different type of pre-season for us in that we haven’t made a lot of changes since last season because I have been happy with the squad we have at the club.
“We will find out on Saturday what six weeks of preparation has done for us.”
Some teams suffer a hangover after missing out on the play-offs the previous -season, but that is something that is not playing on Challinor’s mind
He said: “It didn’t seem to do Guiseley any harm, did it? They went up after missing out the previous season.”
Challinor has seen Solihull in action in a friendly against Sheffield United – the Midlanders were at Fylde to watch them beat a Blackburn XI 5-1.