AFC Fylde’s latest signing Joe Riley is excited for the challenge at Mill Farm after joining the club.

Local lad Riley returns to his native Fylde Coast after penning a one-year deal, with an option of a second-year.

The 27-year-old, who can play at full-back or in midfield, brings a wealth of EFL experience to Chris Beech’s squad, ahead of the upcoming Vanarama National League season.

Having started his career at Manchester United, Riley has had spells with Carlisle United, where he made 84 appearances in all competitions, and most recently Walsall.

Joe now reunites with Beech, his manager at Carlisle, where he played a key role in helping the Cumbrians finish 10th in Sky Bet League Two in the 2020/21 term.

After signing his contract, 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.”

Riley feels that his ambition is aligned with that of Beech and the club. He is hoping for a successful 2024/25 season.

He added: “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.”

Get to know Joe better by reading through five facts about the Coasters’ new man.

1)Born on 6th December 1996, Riley grew up in Lytham and joined Manchester United as a teenager, graduating through the Red Devils’ famed academy system to turn professional at Old Trafford.


2) Joe made his Manchester United first-team debut in an Emirates FA Cup fifth-round tie, during a 3-0 away win at Shrewsbury Town in February 2016 as a half-time substitute for Cameron Borthwick-Jackson – in a competition United would go onto win that season under Louis Van Gaal.


3) Riley made his first start for the club in a 5-1 thrashing of FC Midtjylland in the UEFA Europa League in the same month.


4) Following a permanent stint at Bradford City, Carlisle United would mark Joe’s next career destination, when he linked up with the Cumbrians in the summer of 2020, under the management of Chris Beech. Riley would go onto enjoy a successful spell at Brunton Park, making 84 appearances in all competitions for the club as they climbed towards the top end of Sky Bet League Two in his first season, playing predominantly in a midfield role.


5) After departing Carlisle in the summer of 2022, Joe penned a contract at Walsall of Sky Bet League Two, turning out on 33 occasions across two campaigns in Saddlers colours.


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