Match Preview Q&A – AFC Fylde by Craig Wilson

“Rowey never handed in a transfer request, just media rubbish

The opposition interview series reaches number 13, this time it’s Craig Wilson discussing ‘the Coasters’ of AFC Fylde:

Fylde

Hi Craig welcome back! Remind us a bit about yourself and how long have you followed the Coasters?

I think I am now into my 7th year with Fylde. My son was involved in football at a decent level and the time had come to watch a local team as we followed Newcastle everywhere. With Mike Ashley there though it was time to watch a local team, as I had just finished coaching myself as well. We went to watch Fylde V Accrington Stanley on 3/11/12 and I have been there ever since.

AFC Fylde had a brilliant 18-19 and just missed out on promotion, what were the keys to your success?

18/19 was a great season but we lost against pretty much the bottom 8. We got into the play-offs and seemed to improve with confidence. I would say our defence was fantastic and of course with Rowey up top, we were guaranteed goals as well as clean sheets. At the end of the day Salford were the better team in the final of the play-offs.

You started the season slowly, why do you think that was?

Our season has been poor. Losing Jay Lynch has been a big factor for me. We play some great stuff going forward but we just get no luck. We struggle to defend and have certainly struggled against balls into the box. There does not seem any real confidence in the team.

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How’s your recent form been heading into Saturday’s game?

Recent form has been terrible. We played really well at Bromley, Yeovil, Notts County and came away with 1 point from 3 games. We battered Stockport as well and came away with nothing. Home form we look lost and short of confidence. Teams know our weaknesses and I dread a free kick or a corner against us. There is no consistency and players look scared to make a mistake.

Was Danny Rowe’s transfer request a surprise and how’s he been playing since then?

Rowey never handed in a transfer request, just media rubbish. He asked the Chief Exec to be kept updated if there were any bids. If Rowey was to go in January then good luck to him. He owes us nothing for all the goals and work he has done. He lives local and is happy in the area with his family. More chance of him going at the end of the season when his contract runs out, he deserves another go in the Football League.

Who’s your key players and why?

Key players this season is a struggle. Last season there were several, this season none as yet which is disappointing. Ryan Croasdale is important for the team and Jordan Williams has done okay upfront. The other new signings have not got going yet. Fingers Crossed Rowey comes into form on Saturday, we need him at his best.

Who is your gaffer and what tactics does he like to employ?

Chally (Dave Challinor) is the gaffer and he likes to play football. The ball is played from the back, that’s the way he plays. He has given so much to this club and works around the clock for Fylde. Our Chairman could never fault him for what he has given to this club. Amazes me that people are calling for him to go, he has got us into this league and we were 90 minutes away from going up last year, as well as winning the FA Trophy. He will be given time by our Chairman to get things right and rightly so. We have come a long way in a short time. People forget that.

What’s Fylde away support like and will you bring many down to Torquay?

Our away support is terrible, 95% of our fans have no interest in travelling away. The longer trips to London & further south are not events for our supporters. The “Fylde Elite” travel away and enjoy their trips out. Our away travel was £10 anywhere last season, they had no interest in that. We took 150 to Notts County last weekend which was pretty good for us, but travelling further south than Solihull is a non-starter. We are quite used to being criticised for our away support, it’s water off a ducks back to those that do go.

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Can you still mount a promotion challenge and how do you rate Torquay’s chances?

Can we mount a promotion challenge, well we would have to win quite a few on the trot, it’s possible but our current form suggests not. We need Byrne, Croasdale, Montrose, Rowe, Bradley and Haughton to all hit top form. Matty Kosylo is back from suspension next week which helps, but we need 11 winners who will give their all and show some confidence, not disappear when the going gets tough. Our senior players really need to stand up.

Torquay under Gary Johnson have been good so far and I was over the moon they hammered Stockport. They are a different team since we last visited, but I think consolidation this season for them before they mount a serious attempt next season. I enjoyed my last visit on a Tuesday night and I’m looking forward to this weekend (even the football).

What’s the latest charity events you are involved in?

The Fylde Flyers have raised over £25k and held foodbanks to support people. We do what we can. Last year we did Coast to Coasters, Cycling from Scarborough to AFC Fylde. I am due to return from Injury on November 1st after a few operations. As a team we will discuss things but I would imagine any Charity Cycle will be outside the football season.

And finally, what’s your match prediction for Saturday afternoon?

Well I’d be amazed if there is no goals. Rowey has to start scoring soon and I wouldn’t imagine the bus trip home for the players will be good if we get a beating. I will take a 3-3 draw today.

Cheers Craig

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torquaytalk.com – @TORQUAYTALK

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