AFC Fylde are delighted to announce their first signing of the summer with the capture of Gateshead captain Neill Byrne.

The 25-year-old defender joins the Coasters on a two-year deal.

Vastly experienced at this level, the former Republic of Ireland youth international has also plyed his trade at Football League level since beginning his career with Nottingham Forest.

Byrne came through the ranks at the City Ground before joining League One side Rochdale. He has since played for AFC Telford United, with whom he lifted the National League North title, and current Conference champions Macclesfield Town before teaming up with Gateshead.

Byrne said: “I’m absolutely delighted to join Fylde. The progression of the club has caught everyone’s eye. Once I spoke to the gaffer and he explained his ambitions and vision going forward, it was an easy decision to make and the only place I wanted to be.

“Now I can’t wait for pre-season, getting to know the lads and the fans and most importantly putting in performances.”

Manager Dave Challinor said: “We had an interest in Neill last summer but he ended up going to Gateshead. He captained them on numerous occasions and has impressive experience for someone of his age.

“He’s a good talker, a good organiser and he’s a good size. Plus he fits the way we play because he’s comfortable on the ball.

“He will be a really good asset for us and ticks a lot of boxes.”

Full interview with Byrne to follow.