AFC Fylde is pleased to announce the appointment of Chris Beech as the Club’s new and first Director of Football following a successful recruitment process. 

Chris, who has enjoyed a successful career as a player and manager, takes up the new role and will work closely with First-Team Head Coach Adam Murray to establish a clear strategy and DNA for the Football Club. 

As a professional footballer, Chris made over 315 football league appearances, scoring over 50 goals from the middle of the park. Debuting at just 18 years of age for Blackpool, Chris made a move to Hartlepool United. It was from there that Chris went on to have spells with Premiership-chasing Huddersfield Town and Rochdale before making the transition into coaching due to recurring injury. 

The transition from player to coach didn’t go unnoticed, with Chris head hunted from a three-year spell at Bury FC coaching to establishing a 12-year association with Rochdale AFC, taking on various roles from Head of Youth to Assistant Manager. 

Following his time at Rochdale, Chris was appointed as Head Coach of Carlisle United in 2019, and after inheriting a squad that sat 21st in League Two, he successfully transformed them into a top-of-the-table side before departing in late 2021. 

After being appointed as the Club’s new Director of Football, Chris said: “This is a football club and project geared for success with infrastructure already in place that exceeds many Football League clubs, with a chairman with the ambition to take this football club into the football league.

“It’s an exciting project to be part of, and I believe that I can add significant value strategically and tactically both on and off the pitch.”

Executive Vice-Chairman Phil Humphreys expressed his delight at the appointment of Chris and added: “We are extremely pleased to be able to announce the appointment of Chris Beech as AFC Fylde’s new and first Director of Football. 

“Chris has a first-rate footballing CV and will undoubtedly bring an additional level of strategic knowledge, vision, and dynamism to the Club. 

“The Director of Football is a senior appointment for AFC Fylde and establishes a strategically important development for the Football Club and its aspirations to progress through the National League and into the EFL. 

“This is an AFC Fylde Board position, reporting to the Chairman/Vice Chairman, and, organisationally, sits alongside AFC Fylde’s Chief Operating Officer (COO), Craig Dootson.

“The clear line of distinction is that the Director of Football will be responsible for all football-related matters, with the COO responsible for the commercial operations of the Club. 

“The two positions are intrinsically linked together, and both Chris and Craig require the other to be successful so that they, and the Club, can attain the required level of success. 

“Working very closely with the First Team Coach, Adam Murray – together with the senior management of the Academy and the Women’s Team – this is all about establishing a clear ‘DNA’ and strategic direction for a successful AFC Fylde.”

Welcome to AFC Fylde, Chris!