AFC Fylde boss Dave Challinor believes loan players could once again play a pivotal part in his plans for next season.

Wigan Athletic full-back Luke Burke and Bristol City winger Jonny Smith were two in particular that made an impact on loan at Mill Farm last season.

Burke made 37 appearances for the Coasters, whilst Smith notched ten goals during his 50 games for the club and Challinor hopes for more of the same next term.

Challinor said: “Loan players are an important part of what we do. We can’t afford to carry a massive squad and cover for every eventuality so that’s where they come in.

“In the main, I have been happy with the lads that have come in on loan. They have all integrated really well.

“In a few cases it has cost us nothing to bring in these players so they were no-brainers. We can have up to 12 short-term loan deals and if you can get players in that cost nothing and potentially come into the team then you’d be daft not to. 

“We also have good relationships with other clubs and that has been helpful. 

“A few of the loan lads have figured right the way through the season and have done a good job for us. 

“We will certainly look at topping up our squad with loan players again next season. If we can get players in from higher clubs that can affect our team then we will continue to do that.

“At the moment, we will be planning for next season without loan players. In the main, clubs won’t make decisions on their players going out on loan until the end of pre-season so we have to be organised before that.

“The offering of loan players to Football League clubs concludes at the end of August and it is then that players are made available to non-league clubs.

“Jonny was different last year because he was very young and we got him early. It will be down to what Bristol City believe is the best pathway for his development.

“There will certainly be discussions with them but the ball is in their court at the moment.”