AFC Fylde boss Jim Bentley looking to 'freshen up' squad in New Year

Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now
The January transfer window may not apply at AFC Fylde’s level but manager Jim Bentley is looking forward to a busy month of recruitment.
Read More
AFC Fylde goal hero Ben Tollitt on 'bittersweet' Christmas

Hampered by a cruel run of luck with unavailable players, the former leaders enter 2022 in third place, having taken one point from their final three National League North games of the year.

That sequence includes a 2-1 defeat at home to Chorley, who the Coasters face again at Victory Park on Sunday.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad
AFC Fylde manager Jim Bentley applauds supporters after the draw at ChesterAFC Fylde manager Jim Bentley applauds supporters after the draw at Chester
AFC Fylde manager Jim Bentley applauds supporters after the draw at Chester

It’s the start of what Bentley hopes will be a busy New Year off the field as well as on.

He told The Gazette: “We are on a knife-edge with a very young and inexperienced side at the moment. Almost half the team at Chester on Tuesday (when Fylde halted their losing run with a 2-2 draw) were 20 or under.

“We are identifying targets and looking to improve the squad and freshen things up. We will look to bring in the right type of player and one or two could move on.”

Fylde can sign players at any time of year but are impacted by the windows which operate at higher levels.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Bentley explained: “League clubs tend not to let players go out once their window has closed. But when they are looking to freshen up their squads in January, players become available. There’s a knock-on effect that filters down.

“We are exploring all avenues: league clubs, under-23s and up in Scotland too.”

Fylde’s cause wasn’t helped by a red card for David Perkins at Chester, which will earn the veteran midfielder a three-game ban.

That penalty does not apply immediately and Perkins will be available on Sunday, when Bentley says “one or two” of his injured personnel could return.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The Coasters boss added: “David was looking to take a quick free-kick, raised his arm to brush a Chester player off and caught him in the face.

“He’s made the referee make a decision in front of the home crowd when we’re 1-0 down. That isn’t like Dave but it’s disappointing and he’ll be disappointed with that.”

For the second successive season, Fylde start the year seeking revenge on a Chorley side who beat them on Boxing Day. And what Bentley would give for a repeat of the 4-0 scoreline from 12 months ago.

Thanks for reading. If you value what we do and are able to support us, a digital subscription is just £1 for your first month. Try us today by clicking here