AFC Fylde’s highly-rated goalkeeper, Ben Hinchliffe, was the first player to put pen to paper on a new deal this summer, agreeing to stay at the club for a further two years.

This is a major boost for Dave Challinor ahead of the new campaign and Hinchliffe has become a firm fans favourite over the past two seasons with The Coasters.

This was cemented when he scored the winning spot-kick in the 4-3 shoot-out victory against Ashton United in the Evo-Stik NPL Play-off Final to win promotion to the Conference North at Kellamergh Park in early May.

And Ben has been an almost ever present since joining Fylde in June 2012, making 117 appearances over the past two seasons (missing just five competitive games during that time), and he was rightfully rewarded for his fine displays at that level when the other 23 NPL Premier Division managers named him as the number one goalkeeper in the league, giving him a place in the NPL Premier Division’s Team of the Season for a third consecutive season – the first time whilst with his former club Northwich Victoria.

It’ll be a big step up to the Conference North for The Coasters but with Hinchliffe staying put at least there will be a safe pair of hands between the sticks in the near future.

Hinchliffe is pictured with First Team Manager, Dave Challinor.