Former PNE youngster Ryan Croasdale plotting Football League return with AFC Fylde

Ryan Croasdale has become AFC Fylde's record transfer after joining from Kidderminster Harriers
Ryan Croasdale has become AFC Fylde's record transfer after joining from Kidderminster Harriers

Former Preston North End midfielder Ryan Croasdale is hoping his move to AFC Fylde will eventually lead to a return to the Football League.

Get all your latest Lancashire Post sports news by following @LP_Sport on Twitter

The Coasters smashed all of their previous transfer records on Friday when they paid £50,000 to sign the 23-year-old from Kidderminster Harriers on a three-year deal.

The current England C captain, Croasdale began his career with PNE – making one first team appearance in the Football League Trophy against Oldham in 2013 before joining Sheffield Wednesday.

Things didn’t work out at Hillsborough and he switched to Kidderminster, captaining the side as they reached the play-offs for a second consecutive season.

“The transfer fee doesn’t put me under pressure, it fills me with confidence,” said Croasdale, who is from Lancaster.

“Football is all about confidence and I want to embrace that and hopefully perform.

“Promotion is the aim this year. The club has had two terrific seasons, getting promoted from the National League North and then going so close last year.

“Hopefully we can build on that. I felt like it was the right time to move on.

“I had two great years at Kidderminster and I’d like to thank them for everything they did for me, but the move was inevitable because I wanted to make the step up and further my football career.

“Was it a difficult decision to leave? Yes and no. Location-wise it wasn’t ideal for the family so this is a better fit for a number of reasons.

“Ever since I left Sheffield Wednesday a couple of years ago I have wanted to get back into the league, it has always been my aim.

“Hopefully I can pursue that with Fylde.”

Croasdale has also made an impression on the international stage, boasting four caps for the England C team and recently captaining Paul Fairclough’s side to a 3-2 win over Wales.

He joined up with his new team-mates on Monday when the squad reported back to Mill Farm for pre-season training.