AFC Fylde are delighted to announce the signing of Joe Riley.

Riley played under AFC Fylde Head Coach Chris Beech at Carlisle United and he has put pen to paper on a one-year deal with an option of a second-year at the club.

Local lad Riley, who grew up in Lytham, can play as a full-back or a midfielder, returns to the Fylde Coast having signed a contract at Mill Farm after his departure from Walsall.

Joe’s move to the club adds significant EFL experience to Beech’s side as preparations continue for the Vanarama National League campaign.

Coming through the famed youth system at Manchester United before turning professional in 2016, Riley represented the Red Devils first-team in the UEFA Europa League and Emirates FA Cup.

After spending time on loan at Sheffield United in 2016/17, who won the Sky Bet League One title during the season he was at Bramall Lane, Riley made the permanent move across the Pennines, linking up with Bradford City in the summer of 2018, who then competed in Sky Bet League One.

Two-years later, he signed for Carlisle United, making 84 appearances in all competitions – becoming a reliable presence for the Cumbrians.

In his stint at Brunton Park, Joe helped drive United towards the top end of Sky Bet League Two, predominantly playing in a midfield role.

His most recent spell has been at Sky Bet League Two outfit Walsall, where he has spent the last two seasons in Saddlers colours.

And the 27-year-old has moved back to the North-West to become Beech’s latest recruit.

On signing his contract at Mill Farm, Riley said: “Since the interest started five weeks ago, it’s really excited me, I’ve worked with Beechy in the past, so I know his attitude towards wanting to be successful and what he brings as a manager, so it was a no brainer for me sign.

“I’m excited to get going, and being a local lad from round here, it’s an exciting challenge for me.

“Conversations with my agent and Beechy started a while back. I trusted Beechy and he trusted me as we’ve worked together in the past, so it was an easy decision.

“I’m glad it’s been sorted and over the line, so I’m excited to get started.

“Growing up in Lytham, I’ve been around this area for my whole life, it’s nice for myself and my family, they can pop down to the games, I’ve got a lot of friends in the local area so it will be nice to see them come down on the weekend and support the lads.

“I’m a tenacious player, a box-to-box midfielder and I like to get forward and create things and be a leader on the pitch. I think I’m an exciting player and can be a good driving point for the team.

“The ambitions that I have match those of the gaffer, I think for everyone here, we want to have a successful season.

“I wouldn’t be here if there wasn’t that ambition to be successful, so of course that’s what we are here to do and hopefully I can come here and help the team do that.”

Head Coach Chris Beech added: “I’m personally really pleased to acquire Joe Riley’s signature early for the 2024/25 season squad build.

“His personality and professionalism are infectious and will add value both on and off the pitch in and around AFC Fylde.

“Having worked with Joe before he is a very technical, energised player with a burning ambition to be successful.

“I see Joe giving us a different dynamic option to the midfield area while also providing great cover for both Full backs supporting our fast and attacking style of play.

“Joe is currently a very motivated individual with a will to make significant impact.

“With this being his first venture outside Premier League and EFL, at his age and with his EFL experiences his mindset and standards will rub off on his teammates supporting progress here at AFC Fylde.

“Joe is under no illusions to this league and huge challenges it brings. He understands he will have to be part of a very hardworking squad to help make a significant impact over the course of a season.

“With Joe being a local lad I’m sure you Coasters fans will join me, wishing both him and his teammates well for the 2024/25 season.”

Everyone at AFC Fylde would like to welcome Joe to the club.

Joe is signed-up for the 2024/25 season, and now you can by purchasing an AFC Fylde season ticket by CLICKING HERE