AFC Fylde manager Dave Challinor was delighted to see his squad come through last night’s friendly victory over Marine unscathed.
Challinor had 21 different players on show, including six summer signings, as the Coasters romped to a convincing 5-0 away win in their first pre-season outing.
Whilst the Fylde boss was pleased with the performance, he admitted his focus was primarily on fitness.
Challinor said: “It’s more about minutes for players than anything else. It’s a first 45 for most of the lads and we just wanted to get through without any injuries.
“Of course we wanted to win but it’s about bedding in our principles with the new lads and even when the game was won, it’s still about fitness. In normal circumstances you would try and conserve energy but I wanted us to play at a high tempo throughout.
“I knew we would be quite sharp because the lads have come back in decent shape. It was a good work out on a really good pitch and we showed some promising signs.
“Ultimately we are building towards August 5th and there will be plenty more to come from us.
“The new signings did well and we were looking for different things from each of them. Henry Jones’ goal obviously stands out and it was a great start for him. The two new lads in the full-back positions (Josh Ezewele and Zaine Francis-Angol) did really well in the first half.
“We knew what Lewis (Montrose) would give us – he gives us a shield in there in front of the back four.
“Jack (Muldoon) was lively and was unlucky not to get a goal. They all did really well and most importantly they got through with no niggles.
“We will train for the rest of the week and look forward to what will be a much tougher test against Rochdale on Saturday.
“Rochdale will be a much clearer marker of where we are up to. The lads will step up in terms of playing time as we try and get 60 minutes in the lad’s legs.”
Notable absentees from the squad at Marine included goalkeeper Jay Lynch and starlet James Hardy, however Challinor is hopeful that both will play their part on Saturday.
“Jay picked up a shoulder knock earlier in the week but he will be fine to train today. It just wasn’t worth risking him on Tuesday.
“James is a little bit behind the rest of the group after missing the end of the season and some of pre-season. Plus he was ill for the game. He has missed a lot of football, but he isn’t injured now, he just has some catching up to do. Hopefully it will get a few minutes on Saturday but we have to manage him carefully.”