AFC Fylde captain Nathan Pond has backed his side to bounce back to the National League following their relegation last season.
The central defender joined the Coasters on a one-year deal following his departure from Salford City.
Pond was a close admirer of Fylde during his time at Fleetwood and was delighted to make his move to Mill Farm.
“I’ve watched the club grow over the years, they have been successful. I was with Fleetwood a long time, every time we (Fleetwood) got promoted, Fylde got promoted,” he said. “I’ve had ex-teammates who have played for them and the manager showed an interest in me in January last season. So, it was always in the back of my mind.”
Pond has been given the captain’s armband by the manager, as Jim Bentley believes he’s a perfect fit to lead his side this season.
Pond said: “When I got there, I didn’t know I was going to be captain. But he (Bentley) wanted an experienced player who has played in the league before, who’s been promoted before, so I ticked that category. I have got a lot of experience, played a lot of games, I knew a lot of the lads as well, my experience is vital to the team.”
The defender believes he can use his experience to his advantage, in order to help guide his new side over the course of the season. “They’ll be certain games where I have been in the situation before or title races where I have been in the situation before so I know what’s needed,” he said.
“But I just try and come into training daily and set my example. Get in early at the gym, warm up properly, cool down, simple as that. Set the example for the younger lads.”
The Coasters were one of three teams relegated from the National League last season on points per game, as a result of the Coronavirus outbreak.
However, Fylde have got off to a flying start in the National League North, as they have won both of their opening league games, while also winning in two FA Cup qualifiers.
But Pond believes the club are capable of even better. He said: “Four wins in a row in total, three clean sheets along the way. We’re delighted with the start. But we are not at our best yet and that’s good because we’ll only get better.”
“We want promotion, that is the target. But it’s a big season in the league, York and Gloucester have invested quite a bit in the league, they’re looking for promotion as well and obviously in the league there’s only one automatic spot.” he said. “We want to be playing at a high level, the management want to manage at a high level, the Chairman wants to be at a high level as well, there’s nothing higher than promotion.”