AFC Fylde

Mill Farm

Capacity: 6,000 (Seats 2,000)
Address: Wesham, Preston, PR4 3JZ
Telephone: 01772 682593
Club Nickname: The Coasters
Year Ground Opened: 2016
Home Kit: White with Blue Trim

Main Stand
Main Stand
South Terrace
South Terrace
East Terrace
East Terrace
North End
North End
External View
External View

Main StandAfter spending ten years at Kellamergh Park, the Club have moved four miles to the newly built Mill Farm Stadium, which is situated close to the M55. The move surprised a number of people, as the Club had invested a lot of money in Kellamergh Park, transforming what was at one time an open field at the back of a country pub into a ground with modern facilities and one which could accommodate up to 3,000 supporters. However the Club's owners have aspirations of taking the Club into the Football League and felt that a new stadium was needed to match those ambitions. Certainly the new stadium is of Football League standard and it would seem only a matter of time, but for the playing team come up to the same standard.

The thing that strikes you about the new Mill Farm Stadium, is that the build standard is of high quality; it certainly has not been built 'on the cheap.' Although currently with structures only on three sides, with the North End just having a small open flat standing area, there is plenty of space at that end for future expansion. The stadium is dominated on one side by the large Main Stand, which towers over the rest of the stadium. With a capacity of 2,000 seats, housed within a single tier, the stand is covered by a large roof, which is semi-circular in appearance. The roof is placed quite high above the seating area, as above the seating section, there are two floors fronted by large glass windows. These areas are surrounded by black cladding, whilst further above there is a large clock, flanked in large white lettering; spelling out AFC Fylde. Overall the stand looks quite striking. Opposite is a small covered terrace, which runs the full length of the pitch. In keeping with the design of the Main Stand, it also has a curved roof. What is most striking feature of this side are the four large curved floodlight pylons that extend from behind the stand over the roof. These are quite unusual and I don't know whether it was part of their design brief, but to me they seemed to resemble a wave in outline. The remaining end is a fair sized covered terrace that like the rest of the ground is free any supporting pillars meaning that you can get a good view of the playing action.

If anyone can provide me with more up to date photos of the Mill Farm Stadium, then please email me at duncan@footballgrounds.net. Please note that I can only accept photos that you have taken yourself, or where you have the permission of the person who took the photos for them to appear on this website.

Mill Farm Stadium EntranceIf segregation is in force then away fans are mostly housed in the South Terrace at one end of the ground. This covered terrace can house up to 1,000 fans. In addition visiting supporters are also allocated seating in Block A of the Main Stand. The Mill Farm Stadium also has electronic turnstiles, which means that you need to insert your ticket into a barcode reader to gain entrance. Although now common place in the Premier and Championship Leagues, I believe AFC Fylde is the only Club at this level to have them and this may confuse some visiting fans who have never seen these type of turnstiles before. Although I have yet to visit the stadium to watch a match, I am sure that the facilities will be good, plus the covered terrace should lend itself to creating a good atmosphere. 

Please note that away fans can purchase tickets directly from AFC Fylde for the visitors sections online. See the AFC Fylde website for more information.

Bradleys Sports Bar SignAt the Mill Farm Stadium itself, is Bradleys Sports Bar, which normally admits away fans. This bar is quite plush inside, with one end wall covered in a number of television screens which are arranged together to make up one huge screen. With more screens throughout and sports memorabilia adorning the walls, it reminded me of Sports Bars that I have visited in the past in the United States, it is that good! But going one better than our American Cousins, Bradleys offers real ale. There are four handpumps including two beers from the Bowlands Brewery.

The nearest pub to the ground is the Lane Ends pub on Weeton Road, which around a ten minute walk away. This pub offers food and also has live televised sports. In the centre of nearby Wesham, not far from the railway station are two pubs which are situated close together on Garstang Road' the Royal Oak and the Stanley Arms. If you are feeling hungry the also in the centre of Wesham on Weeton Road is the handy Wesham Chippy.

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Leave the M55 and take the A585 towards Kirkham. After one mile you will reach the Mill Farm Stadium on your right. The entrance to the complex is just off the roundabout by the Aldi store. There is a fair sized car park at the stadium itself. Don't be tempted to park in the nearby Aldi Store as parking restrictions apply and you may end up with a parking fine for your trouble.

Post Code for SatNav: PR4 3BY (this will take you the nearby Fleetwood Road. Some SatNavs are not recognising the published Club post code of PR4 3JZ, I guess this is beacause they have not yet been updated with the new stadium location).

Kirkham & Wesham Railway Station, is situated around three quarters of a mile away from Mill Farm Stadium, or around a 15 minute walk. It is mainly served by trains from Manchester Victoria and Blackpool North. Although there are other less frequent services from London Euston, Huddersfield and Buxton.

With the main entrance to the station behind you, turn right and proceed along Station Road. Go straight across a mini roundabout and at the next mini roundabout turn right at the Wesham Chippy into Garstang Road North. Continue straight along this road for around half a mile, passing two churches on your right and Wesham Fire Station on your left. At the end of the road you will reach a roundabout. Mill Farm Stadium is located on the other side of the road and roundabout behind the Aldi Store.

Remember if travelling by train then you can normally save on the cost of fares by booking in advance.

Visit the the trainline website to see how much you can save on the price of train tickets.

Click on the trainline logo below:

Seating
Adults £15
Under 16's £9

Standing
Adults £12
Under 16's £5

Official Matchday Programme £2.

AFC Fylde fixture list (takes you to the BBC Sports Website).

Record Attendance (at Mill Farm)
1,905 v FC Halifax Town
National League North, August 27th 2016

Average Attendance (at Kellamergh Park)
2015-2016: 522 (National League North)

If anything is incorrect or you have something to add, then please e-mail me at: duncan@footballgrounds.net and I'll update the guide.

Special thanks to Kevin Wrenn and Martin Atherton for providing some photos of the Mill Farm Stadium AFC Fylde for this page.

AFC Fylde v FC Halifax Town
National League North
Saturday 27th August 2016, 3pm
Martin Atherton (Neutral fan)

Why were you looking forward to this game and visiting the Mill Farm Stadium?

My friend and fellow Preston North End fan visited Kellamergh Park on many occasions and always loved the atmosphere. I wasn't able to join him so when an early opportunity came to visit the brand new ground, I had to take it.

How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking?

Only 25 minutes from home and one of the easiest grounds at any level to find. In terms of motorway access, on a par with Bolton and Scunthorpe. You probably shouldn't be driving if your eyesight is so bad that you miss seeing the Mill Farm Stadium it from the motorway and main road past the ground.

What you did before the game pub/chippy etc, and were the home fans friendly?

 As I hadn't travelled far, I just did my usual tour of the perimeter. The locals were friendly enough although I suspect a large number were also making their first visit. Inside the ground, there was a clear divide between those who were keen to loudly assert their status as long term fans and those who were trying to remember (or work out) which team was which during the warm-up. No animosity though but a clear hierarchy was being established.

What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of the Mill Farm Stadium?

The Main Stand looks impressive from the outside. Also the outside the pavement terrace of the sports bar, with its tables and chairs was a novel approach that probably however wouldn't receive Football League approval. Inside, it was interesting to see that despite entering through different turnstiles and paying different prices, for the Main Stand and terraces, thereafter there was free circulation between the terraces and the Main Stand. I wish I had known that before I had paid the higher Main Stand price! Two covered terraces and a flat open end are adequate for this level and offer plenty of scope for expansion, whilst the Main Stand would grace many a lower league club. As ever though, not much knee room for someone who is 6' 1" tall like me. The concourse underneath the Main Stand is very narrow and cramped and may well prove hard to navigate when there is a full 2,000 capacity. With around 1,000 in attendance for this game, it was cosy enough but still needed some patience to get to the various elements (toilets, tea bar, bar). I excellent views of the game, but the lack of windshields on either side of the Main Stand meant for a windy experience, which hinted at a need to wrap up well on colder days.

Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, facilities etc..

How Halifax managed to lose 3-2 having dominated the majority of the game demonstrates why we go to watch football. In the end, one team missed a hat-full of chances and the other converted all three. Very entertaining for a neutral but not so for the partisan fans. In the Main Stand, the 'ordinary' stewards seemed a bit unsure of what their role was but the blazer stewards were more clued up. However, there was real potential for trouble when stewards at the segregated Halifax end inexplicably allowed many of them to changes ends at half time. This involved passing in front of the noisy element of the home support and the inevitable exchange of 'banter' that almost lead to violence. A group of away fans were then allowed to establish themselves on the side terrace and beer was exchanged more than once. It might be new to everyone but this needs addressing as a matter of urgency. Despite some concerns, being part of a club record crowd of 1,905 at this level was quite incredible.

Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:

I had parked at the entrance to a new estate five minutes walk from the ground and I was home 30 minutes after the final whistle. Not everyone parked behind me was as relaxed about the abusive notice on all our windscreens but the locals will probably have to get used to having a football ground on their doorsteps. No one was parked illegally or causing an obstruction so the notices were a bit naughty really.

Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

Excellent day out, good ground with a terrific atmosphere but the stewards need some urgent training on crowd control inside.

AFC Fylde v Brackley
National League North
Saturday 13th August 2016, 3pm
Kevin Wrenn (Neutral fan)

Why were you looking forward to this game and visiting Mill Farm?
As this is a very local ground for me (just six miles away) and the first match at the new Mill Farm Stadium, it was a cracking way to start the new season. I've seen over the past months the building progress of the ground and always felt it was going to be something better than the modern trend towards 'Lego' type stadiums.

How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking?
Mill Farm is incredibly easy to get to. For me, it's the dual carriageway from Preston, but away fans would MPs likely head up to the M55 and approach the area of the stadium that way. The parking was along the approach roads. I ended up being parked (for free) right outside the main entrance. It was a bit odd to be parked up for free at a football ground, but fair play to the club for that.

What you did before the game pub/chippy etc, and were the home fans friendly?
Well. Okay this was the first game at this stadium, and it is an ambitious project. The turnstiles are all automatic barcode readers and read season tickets in the same way as you see bus passes used (or Oyster cards for you Southern Softies;) . Trouble was, the ticket I bought (sold by a man stood to one side outside the ticket office, selling terrace tickets?) wouldn't scan. Instead of simply letting people in, the rather flustered staff had myself, and 10 or so others walk back to the other end of the stadium and wait for 10 minutes whilst they printed new ones. Not a great start but the opening of the stadium was incredibly tight. A friend of mine had worked on the stadium the previous day doing the finishing touches! Given that the cash point machines also didn't work (there is an Aldi right next to the ground for cashback) it was a very challenging day for the staff. All done with good humour from the fans, including those visiting from Brackley Town.

What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of the Mill Farm Stadium?
Mill Farm looks pretty spectacular from the outside. It dominates a flat and rural setting. The floodlights along the 'popular side' terrace are curved and unique. It is really well appointed, although obviously the landscaping will take time to be finished and bed in. There wasn't a discernible 'away' end, as for this game thee wasn't any segregation in force so fans were able to flow where they wanted. There is a very smart seater Main Stand on one side with the facilities and plush executive section to the rear. I do wonder if the lack of side-screens will make this a bit inhospitable in the winter, although the back of the stand points in the prevailing wind direction. I digress..... Behind the near goal,there is a flat tarmac area with a long metal bar for leaning purposes. This leads around the corner (an exit gate/toilet block still to be opened) to the pitch-length terrace populated by the home fans, complete with drum and noisy few in the dead centre. Away at the far end is a terrace planned for away fans, although, again, this was free-flow.

Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, facilities etc.. 
There was a lot of staff who need to learn how to interact with paying public. The disorganisation around the ticket issue was badly managed by awkward staff. However, it was 'opening-day' so fair enough and I guess they are new to their jobs. The ground has a bar attached. This can be accessed from both inside and outside the stadium. However, inside it is an odd setup. There is one entrance (D) for the snack -bar which serves a full range of food. Chips, sausage rolls, burgers, beer, tea coffee Bovril and other bits and bobs. But there just isn't enough space! I do wonder if other facilities will open as the ground beds in. But the queue was very long. However, the main bar is accessible from this entry also, meaning those focused on beer can remove from the queue. But added to the traffic-jam of this area is the gents toilets. Exiting by the near door means that you are facing into the flow of people heading into this area. If there is a big crowd this area would be a nightmare. I look forward to seeing how this is managed as the club settle into their new home.

Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:
Very, very easy. Into the car, quick u-turn and away onto the main roads. Fab.

Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:
I am certainly going to return here regularly through the season. £12 to stand and enjoy football in a lovely setting with decent facilities. I will update later in the year and look forward to how the club improve things as they go. Well done all concerned.

Why not write your own review of Mill Farm AFC Fylde and have it included in the Guide? Find out more about submitting a Fans Football Ground Review.

Updated 8th September 2016

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