AFC Fylde boss Dave Challinor admits he is already relishing the start of the pre-season schedule.
The club have confirmed five friendly fixtures to date, with a home clashes against three Football League clubs, including a high-profile encounter with Championship side Bolton Wanderers.
The Coasters kick-off their warm-up matches against Marine at the Marine Travel Arena on Tuesday 11th July before hosting Rochdale at Mill Farm four days later. Fylde suffered a narrow 2-1 defeat against their League One opponents last summer.
Newly-promoted Bolton will provide a tough test at Mill Farm on Tuesday 18th July following their return to the Championship before Challinor’s side host League Two Morecambe ahead of a trip to National League North club Curzon Ashton in the final pre-season outing before the new National League campaign.
The club have already well surpassed last year’s season ticket sales and Challinor hopes the warm-up matches will also be well attended by supporters.
Challinor said: “It’s always a tough one when deciding how many games to play in pre-season. We can be flexible and arrange more if we feel the need to.
“We want to be quite varied in the opposition we are facing because before the fixtures come out you don’t really know what lies ahead for the start of the season.
“We don’t find out the fixtures until July 5th so we have just had to plan the best we can.
“It is important to get everybody through pre-season and make sure that we have a full squad to pick from come the first league game of the season. We want everyone raring to go to give us some difficult selection problems for that first game on August 5th.
“We have some good friendly games to look forward to against tough opposition over the summer. We have tried to choose away games with good surfaces to play on to suit our style of play. They have a really good surface at Curzon and Marine should be decent too.
“Going up a division has made us a more attractive proposition for clubs higher up the ladder. We have games against a Championship club and two other league clubs and they will enjoy coming to play at Mill Farm as much as we will enjoy facing them.
“The pitch will be immaculate and the facilities are great and hopefully the three games at home will be well supported.
They will provide us with some difficult tests but that’s exactly what we need as we prepare for the step up next season.”