WEB EXCLUSIVE: Fylde fans Aim Higher for charity

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A group of AFC Fylde fans have gone the extra mile to raise money for a local charity.

11 Coasters planned a challenging 100-mile cycling trip to Harrogate in support of Aiming Higher, an organisation in Blackpool that aids those with disabilities and their relatives.

Fylde continue their push for the title in North Yorkshire this weekend, with a 10 point buffer separating them from the play-off positions in the Vanarama National League North.

The riders are scheduled to meet up with the team bus in Harrogate before the game on Saturday after completing their gruelling challenge.

Stadium announcer Brian Porter organised a similar trip to Stockport County last year, and was keen to help out once more for an even tougher test.

“I’d got them all involved last year and I’m only too happy to help,” he said.

“It’s a fantastic cause, a fantastic group of people that really took to cycling last year, and they’ve taken it on to a whole new level this year.

“I can’t wait to get started with them, I’m going to have such a laugh.”

Porter also explained the decision to select Aiming Higher as their beneficiaries, with their work helping both those with disabilities and their relatives.

“It’s a fantastic Blackpool-based charity that supports children with disabilities and their families,” he stated.

“It provides events for them, it provides activities, emotional and some financial support.

“It’s just taken over the old library in Blackpool (Church Street), and the aim of this ride is to raise some funds to help do that up so they’ve got a fantastic purpose-built centre to work for them in the future.”

Another fan to get involved is Terry Broadbent, who outlined their target amount for the ride, and thanked the club for their support when they set off for Harrogate this morning.

“They’ve got about £2,000 but I think they’ve gone over that now, and we’ve got today and tomorrow as well, so we’re hoping to get about £5,000,” he said.

“They’ve (the club) been 100%, everyone that works in the club is here for the 100 miles.

“A friend of ours is in the Lancashire cycle link, and he suggested that we do a sponsored ride to Harrogate, as AFC Fylde are playing them on Saturday, so we’ll have to go round with buckets in the stadium to raise more money.”

Although not as arduous as cycling 100 miles in just over 24 hours, the Coasters face a struggle in North Yorkshire, with Harrogate using one of the controversial astroturf surfaces.

Fylde lost 1-0 at Tamworth on their last experience of a plastic pitch, and 41-goal striker Danny Rowe insists they will have nowhere to hide if they suffer another defeat this weekend.

“We’re confident, we’re on a good run now,” he confessed.

“It’s a different surface to play on the astroturf tomorrow, but we’ll go and try to win the game.

“We train on it all the time, and we have done today and yesterday.

“It’s not the same as grass but the lads are used to it, so it shouldn’t be any excuse really.”

After their long trip from west to east, the cyclists will be hoping the players will reward their efforts with another precious win, as they continue their rise to the Football League.

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