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Club Info and History
 
AFC Fylde club info and brief history...

Club Info

Nickname:
The Coasters

Ground Address: Kellamergh Park, Bryning Lane, Warton, PR4 1TN

Club History

The club can trace their roots back to the early 1900s, but it was an amalgamation between Wesham FC and Kirkham Town in the late 1980s that really set the club on the path to its present stature, and silverware winning days as Kirkham & Wesham FC.

Seven times winners of the West Lancashire League Premier Division in recent seasons, the club won four titles in a row between 2003 and 2007. They have also won the coveted Richardson Cup on five occasions (1999, 2000, 2001, 2005 and 2006), as well as three consecutive Northern Inter-Counties Cup Finals between 2005-2007, and four Lancs Amateur Shield victories between 2001-2006. Having won six West Lancs League titles in seven years the club purchased land behind the Birley Arms public house and hotel in Kellamergh, a district of Warton some 3.8 miles from their previous local council owned home in Coronation Road, Kirkham in 2005 and began to develop the facilities which would enable them to move up the football pyramid. Facilities at the newly named Kellamergh Park were completed at the end of the 2006-07 season and the club were admitted into the North West Counties League. With more than £150,000 having been invested into their new facilities at their idyllic location, the club keen to carry on where they left off in the West Lancashire League.

During the summer of 2007 the club changed its club colours from all blue to all white and in our first season in the League won promotion in May 2008 to the new Vodkat Premier Division. In addition to promotion the club also won the League Cup and after a magnificent 11 match run in the FA Vase they won at Wembley in a thrilling 2-1 win beating Lowestoft Town in the final. Young Matt Walwyn has the hero coming off the bench at 1-0 down with ten minutes left and scoring both goals to finish a fantastic season for the club. This game went down in history as this was the last game as Kirkham and Wesham Football Club.

The club took steps to secure their long term future by asking the authorities to sanction a change of name for the club to AFC Fylde in time for the 2008-09 campaign. The aim of the name change was to broaden the club’s appeal in the area and ambition to climb the football pyramid – The Football Team of the Fylde Coast the Club’s motto with a long term aim of reaching the football league by 2022.

Mick Fuller the club’s long serving manager managed to keep the nucleus of his squad from the West Lancashire League days with several new additions came on board in the close season of 2008 which gave AFC Fylde’s squad the strength in depth required to mount an assault on promotion to the Unibond League. They passed the Ground Grading on 31st March 09 achieving Grade E Status after spending over £125,000 on improvements and built on the FA Vase success with another promotion bid which went all the way to the last day of the campaign. On May 9th 2009 AFC Fylde clinched the Vodkat Premier Division Championship with a 5-0 win over New Mills, who were 3 points clear going into the final game. In front of a then club record crowd of 1217 they didn’t disappoint and they won the title on goal difference.

AFC Fylde moved into the Unibond League North for the first time in 2009-10 Season the aim was consolidation. After an indifferent start to life in Step 4 long serving boss Mick Fuller was moved upstairs in Dec 2009 and former Preston North End and Barnsley Coach Kelham O'Hanlon was installed as the club's new manager. O'Hanlon had to get to grips with the rigours of what proved to be a very competitive league and gave a number of young players an opportunity to impress. After a good run at the end of the season a comfortable mid table finish was seen as progress. In readiness for the 2010-2011 Season he assembled a squad looking to challenge for promotion in the new look Evo Stik North adding some much needed quality and experience and they had a great season winning the Lancashire FA Co-operative Trophy at the Reebok Stadium and reaching the Evostik North Play Off Final losing 2-0 to rivals Chorley. In readiness for the 2011-2012 Season AFC Fylde made their intentions clear wanting promotion to the Premier Division after going so close the previous season. A string of impressive signings joined the club in the summer to boost their already talented squad. They started the season well but in results went against them and in October 2011 Manager Kelham O'Hanlon left the club by mutual consent. His Assistant Mick Fuller stepped up in a Caretaker role until the club found a successor to O'Hanlon. 

The club found a successor in the form of former Tranmere Rovers defender Dave Challinor and his assistant Colin Woodthorpe who immediately set his stall out and after four successive wins throughout December, won the Evo-Stik Division One North Manager of the Month Award.

After mixing a number of new signings with existing members of the squad, Dave and Colin managed to secure the promotion the club had saught after all season with an amazing run of just one defeat in the last 25 matches, including a title-clinching 10-game winning streak and scoring 53 goals and conceding just eight in those 25 games, promotion to the NPL Evo Stik Premier Division was secured with a game to spare thanks to a thrilling 1-0 win over Salford City at Kellamergh Park.

The 2012/13 season was another highly successful one but a frustrating campaign at the same time for the Coasters. The visit of FC United of Manchester in October 2012 saw a record attendance of 1,418 saw Fylde come out 4-2 winners over their promotion rivals. A tremendous run in the FA competitions saw Fylde reach the First Round Proper of the FA Cup for the first time in their history thanks to a 1-0 victory at Ilkeston FC in a Monday night replay – Adam Farrell scored after just 90 seconds but Fylde held out an 88 minute onslaught for the right to host Accrington Stanley in the next round. That’s where it finished for Challinor’s side as the League Two side went home 4-1 winners thanks to four goals from Will Hatfield. Farrell continued his impressive FA Cup scoring run with Fylde’s only goal in that game.

The Third Qualifying Round of the FA Trophy was reached as well as winning the Lancashire FA Challenge Trophy for the second time at Bolton Wanderers’ Reebok Stadium  in March 2013– a 2-0 win over Bacup Borough claiming back the trophy they won for the first time at the same venue just 13 months earlier.

However, due to a huge backlog of fixtures going into the final five weeks of the season, The Coasters finished a respectable fifth in their first season at this level but suffered Play-off heartbreak for the second time in three seasons losing on penalties 3-1 after a 3-3 draw to Premier Division Runners-up Hednesford Town in front of a partisan crowd of 1,360 supporters in the Play-off Semi Finals. The game will be remembered more for Fylde goalkeeper, Ben Hinchliffe’s, 60-yard free kick which looped over his opposite number and straight into the back of the net to make it 2-2 deep into injury time and send the game into extra time.

Ahead of the coming 2013/14 season, Challinor has added to his already strong squad and The Coasters will go into new campaign hopeful that the 2022 ambition stays on track with yet another promotion.
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