| 13.6°C Belfast

Close

Premium

How Fleetwood Town plan to continue fruitful Northern Ireland connection as five young stars impressing at League One club

League One club owner on why his scouts favour talent from our shores

Close

Rising star: Barry Baggley signs a pro deal with Fleetwood alongside Joey Barton last summer

Rising star: Barry Baggley signs a pro deal with Fleetwood alongside Joey Barton last summer

Rising star: Barry Baggley signs a pro deal with Fleetwood alongside Joey Barton last summer

Andy Pilley pans his mobile phone around to show the sweeping views he enjoys from his office.

The Fleetwood Town chairman is hosting a Zoom call from the Belfast Telegraph to talk about the Northern Ireland connection at his club, and proudly gazes down on no fewer than 13 football pitches at Poolfoot Farm where the players on his books from the first team down train.

Self-made millionaire Pilley is bubbly and charismatic, and very clearly hands-on - there are not too many League One supremos who could talk at length and in detail about the youngsters in the ranks, their families, how they were scouted and where they fit into the bigger picture.