The 2023/24 season of the FA Women’s National League (FAWNL) gets underway this Sunday, and AFC Fylde Women are gearing up for another exciting campaign in the Northern Premier Division.
Photo: Heather Watson (AFC Fylde Women Media)
With the FAWNL Big Kick-Off just around the corner, let us take a closer look at how the Coasters have been preparing for the new season in the third tier of the Women’s Football Pyramid.
After a strong finish to the 2022/23 season with four wins from their final six outings, the Coasters achieved a solid seventh place finish with 26 points from 22 games.
This season marks the dawn of a new era for AFC Fylde Women, who are aiming to build on the remarkable success achieved under former managers Kimberley Turner, Danielle Young, James Mallett and their fellow coaching staff. Having also bidden farewell to a number of legendary players who have contributed so much over recent seasons, the team are now ready to begin a new chapter in their history.
Last May, the Coasters were delighted to announce the appointment of new First Team Manager Jack Garside, who joins the club from Manchester City Women and brings a wealth of experience in coaching and developing players at various levels. Garside has previously worked with Altrincham U18s (men’s team) and Manchester City Women Academy U12s, U14s, U16s, with his most recent role at City being the head coach of the U21s.
Garside is joined by newly appointed Assistant Manager Jamie Fitzpatrick, who has had spells with Manchester United and Manchester City Academy U16s and U21s, along with experience as a head coach and youth development phase lead.
During the close season, the Coasters have also welcomed a number of talented additions to their playing squad. New signings include Cath Hamill, Lauren Heria, Ginny Lackey, Lily Murphy, Parker Dunn, Lois Moore, Codie Thomas, Beth Strutton, Faye Knox, and Isabelle Wade.
The Coasters have also announced the return of Liz Craven, Iszy Binks, Cara Bickett, Sasha Rowe, Alex Taylor, Rebecca Beresford, Jodie Redgrave, Megan Hunter, Amy Hughes, Clara Samson, Evie Whitaker, and Emma Siddall.
Over recent weeks, the team have been working hard to build up their fitness levels and gain match sharpness in preparation for the new campaign. Their preseason schedule began in late July with an away game against York City Ladies, followed by a trip to Cheltenham Town Ladies a week later.
Fylde kicked off August with a home game against Blackburn Rovers Women behind closed doors, before rounding off last Sunday with another home game against Durham Women, which this time was played in front of spectactors.
With preseason complete, the Coasters are now preparing for their season opener on Sunday when they face Huddersfield Town Women at the Stafflex Arena. Please note that the kick-off time has been pushed back to 4.00 pm.
On Sunday 27th August, the Coasters enter the Determining Round of the FAWNL Cup, in which they have been drawn at home to Lancashire neighbours Chorley Women. This tie should provide a stern test as the team look to progress to the next round of the competition.
A week later, the Coasters play their first home game of the league season on Sunday 3rd September with the visit of newly promoted Newcastle United Women.
As the Women's game continues to grow, so too does the quality on display every weekend up and down the country in the FAWNL.
Supporters can be part of the action and attend all home games at Kellamergh Park. A season ticket is available to purchase at £35 for adults and £15 for under-16s. Supporters can also pay on the gate at home games, with ticketing details announced on the team's website and social media channels.
Be part of the journey and follow the Coasters every step of the way!
Words by Scott Jones