AFC Fylde manager Dave Challinor has been a busy man in the transfer market this summer and brought in his third new recruit this week with the capture of left-back Zaine Francis-Angol.
The 23-year-old will join the Coasters on a two-year deal, with the option of a third, on July 1st following the expiration of his contract at Kidderminster Harriers.
Francis-Angol became the second defender to depart the Aggborough Stadium in favour of the Fylde Coast after Jordan Tunnicliffe’s switch a fortnight ago.
Challinor admits he has long been an admirer of his new man and was delighted to get a deal done for the ‘stand-out’ left-back in the National League North.
Challinor said: “We had been looking at full-backs throughout the season because that’s an area we felt we could improve in.
“The two we signed at the start of the last season – Danny Holmes and Tom Kennedy – were very last minute and through the season we kept an eye on players in that area in case they became available.
“In my opinion, Zaine was the stand-out left-back in the league last season. Once we knew he was out of contract, it gave us an opportunity to try and do something.
“We have obviously sold what we are trying to do here very well because he could have probably made the jump straight up to the Football League.
“This is perhaps a stepping stone to progress his development and reach the League but there is also the opportunity for him to progress with us as a club too.
“I’m really looking forward to working with him. He is your modern day full-back. He is good going forward but primarily he is very good defensively.
“He can play further forward and we will want him to play as an attacking full-back but defending is a massive part of his job.
“The majority of our strengthening will be in defensive areas and Zaine is a big part of that.”
Both Francis-Angol and fellow newcomer Tunnicliffe are currently one of a select group taking part in the V9 Academy, the brainchild of England striker Jamie Vardy that aims to discover the best of non-league talent.
Challinor believes their week with the academy, held at Manchester City’s training complex, can only benefit his new recruits.
“There are a lot of players at this level that have ambitions of playing in the Football League and our players are no different.
“Not many players will be content with being part-time players so this is a great opportunity for them.
“It is good for our two lads because I have been to Manchester City and I know what the facilities there are like. They are amazing. Regardless of what happens, they will have a great week and get an insight into what facilities are like at the very top level because they are second to none at City.”