New deals for AFC Fylde pair Haughton and Byrne

AFC Fylde have exercised their option to extend the contracts of defender Neill Byrne and forward Nick Haughton for next season.

Monday, 11th May 2020, 4:45 pm
Nick Haughton (left)

Both joined the club in 2018 and have become key players at Mill Farm over the past two seasons.

Centre-half Byrne, 27, was appointed club captain and his next Fylde appearance will be his 100th.

Former Fleetwood Town and Salford City attacker Haughton, 25 – who had a loan spell at Chorley in 2017 – has established himself as a fans’ favourite and has topped 60 Fylde appearance. Manager Jim Bentley said: “Neill is a very good character, who has been an ever present since I came to the club.

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“He ticks a lot of boxes you would want from a modern day centre-half and is also a threat from attacking set-plays.

“He’s a fully committed player, who is well respected throughout the club. He is very determined and focused and will hopefully help us all achieve our goals with AFC Fylde.”

Of Haughton, the Fylde boss added: “Nick is a very talented player who has shown in the time I have been at the club that he could potentially develop into one of the best players in the league to help us get to where we want to be.

“He’s an exciting player but he needs to work hard at his game and give it his absolute all, and if he does that and fulfils his potential we’ll have a very good player on our hands, with his best years ahead of him as a Fylde player.”

Byrne said: “I’m really happy to stay. It’s a hard time for everyone in this current situation, so I am pleased this has been sorted. We never got going this year but we can put this right and put a good run together next season.

Haughton added: “We are facing difficult times at the moment and none of us really know what’s going to happen, but I am really pleased to have my future sorted at AFC Fylde. We didn’t have the season we wanted and we weren’t happy with it. We will learn from this and crack on when we’re allowed to begin pre-season, then aim to get where we want to be.”

Owner David Haythornthwaite said of the deals: “Nick is one of the really important players for us. He’s an exciting player and the fans love him.

“Jim in particular sees Neill as a key player in the squad going forward.”

He also revealed that Fylde have also retained Sheldon Green, who had loan spells at Bamber Bridge this season.