AFC Fylde manager Jim Bentley is on the hunt for reinforcements

Friday, 13th December 2019, 6:00 am
Danny Philliskirk’s fitness is being managed by the AFC Fylde staff       Picture: Steve McLellan
Danny Philliskirk’s fitness is being managed by the AFC Fylde staff Picture: Steve McLellan

Bentley spent eight years at Morecambe prior to joining the Coasters but never paid a fee for a player in that time.

Despite the potential of having money to spend, Bentley wants to make sure he gets the right players for his club.

He said: “You speak to other managers.

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“I’ve had a couple of text conversations with a couple of League Two managers yesterday that I know well, just to see regarding players.

“Part of the improvement is if you have an opportunity to improve the squad, I’ll do that.

“At the minute I think there’s certain areas where we need improving.

“We’re trying all we can to make sure we get the right players in.

“I don’t want to just jump in and sign players for the sake of it.

“I don’t want to sign players to just come in and make up the squad; the squad is okay, I’d back all of these players.

“But to improve, you have to improve certain areas on the pitch and that’s what we’re trying to do at the minute.

“It’s a case of speaking to managers and picking their brains.”

The Fylde manager is drawing on experience from higher than League Two, having taken the opportunity to see how clubs operate at the top level of English football.

“We went over to Burnley recently for the Lancashire Senior Cup game and we spent an hour with Ian Woan (assistant manager), who was fantastic with us,” Bentley said.

“You see how a Premier League club goes about their business, what goes into their routine and what their preparation is.

“I have to say, it was absolutely fantastic.

“What a great bunch of staff they’ve got there.

“That’s where you pick things up, you can see how people work and you’re always learning.

“Suddenly you might just pick up one per cent that might improve you.

“That’s what we’re all about, the small percentages.

“You get a few of those right and it makes up for the bigger percentages and gives you a better chance of doing well and winning games of football.

“Anyone who is in a position of management, not even in football, I’ll speak to anyone about sport.

“I have a friend who is high up in rugby and he came to the game the other day; you can pick his brain in regards to how different sports work, because everyone should be forever learning.”

Fylde play host to Curzon Ashton this weekend in the FA Trophy as the Coasters look to retain their silverware.

Danny Rowe’s free-kick at Wembley last season helped them see off National League champions Leyton Orient.

With fixture congestion always a problem during the festive period, Bentley knows every member of his squad will be important.

“There are a couple of bits and pieces, nothing new to report,” he said of any injuries.

“James Montgomery is still out for a bit and Kurt Willoughby is out training with the players today (Thursday), doing none of the rehab stuff, so that’s a positive.

“We’ve got a couple of bumps and bruises.

“(Ryan) Croasdale got a bash on his knee, (Scott) Duxbury got stitches in a knee gash on Saturday.

“(Matty) Kosylo has got a bit of a groin problem, we’re managing (Danny) Philliskirk through a bit of a problem at the minute but he’ll definitely be in the squad again come Saturday.

“A couple of little niggles, apart from the first two I mentioned, nothing major.

“And we need them because of the amount of games we’ve got coming up.

“I know from experience; this stage of the year, the quick turnarounds, the pitches, the weather, all those things you’ve got to take into consideration.

“You’ve just got to guard against everything.

“You need your squad fit and well, chomping at the bit to go out and play.

“That’s what we’ve got at the minute.”