Third time lucky? Dave Challinor seeking play-off redemption with Hartlepool United after twice losing out with AFC Fylde

Dave Challinor will be hoping it is third time lucky for him in the National League play-offs this Sunday as he gears his Hartlepool United side up for the promotion final at Ashton Gate (2pm kick-off).

Thursday, 17th June 2021, 4:45 pm

Challinor previously led his former club AFC Fylde to the play-offs twice only to lose out in the eliminator round in 2017-18 and the final itself in 2018-19.

Now he’s looking to go one better at Pools this time out with Torquay United standing between the club and a place back in the Football League.

The play-off final in 2019 saw Fylde lose 3-0 to Salford City at Wembley Stadium.

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Dave Challinor while in charge of AFC Fylde during their promotion final season. (Photo by Jan Kruger/Getty Images)

“I hope it’s not the same as last time!” Challinor said.

“It’s different this time and I’m slightly disappointed if you look at the game, the opportunity for the players to play at Wembley and get to Wembley, it would have been massive, that’s not the case.

"That last half hour for me in the play-off final last time was the worst half an hour I’ve experienced in football. It’s a lonely place stood on a touchline 3-0 down with not a great deal you can do, just living in the hope you can get a goal and get some momentum but nothing went for us that day.

"Hopefully we have a bit more luck on Sunday and we can be successful.”

Challinor will be holding a pre-match press conference at Victoria Park on Friday afternoon as Pools look to secure their first ever promotion via the play-offs this weekend and their first promotion of any kind since 2007.

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