Jim Bentley wants rapid return to the Football League with AFC Fylde

Jim Bentley conducts his first press conference as AFC Fylde manager
Jim Bentley conducts his first press conference as AFC Fylde manager
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New AFC Fylde manager Jim Bentley has his sights firmly set on a return to the Football League.

READ MORE: Bentley leaves Morecambe for AFC Fylde challenge
Bentley has dropped down from League Two Morecambe to take over at Mill Farm and he is keen to be back there as soon as he can.

Ending his 17-year affiliation with the Shrimps, the 43-year-old admitted it was strange to be introduced as the Fylde manager but said the timing is right for the change.

Speaking to The Gazette, Bentley said: “It’s strange at the minute. I’ve had a lot of time at Morecambe as player, captain and manager.

“It’s been an emotional couple of days but the timing’s right.

“A little bit on their end in regards to my feelings towards the club – I’ll never have a bad thing to say about Morecambe Football Club and I love the place dearly.

“But in football all good things come to an end. That’s the way it is now and I’m on to my next adventure, and that’s AFC Fylde.

“I’m really looking forward to the challenge that lies ahead.

“It’s a really ambitious club. There are good people and they’ve been successful.

“They’re on an upwards curve and hopefully I can add to that, be a success moving forward and ultimately get ourselves into the Football League.”

Having only been in the job a matter of hours when we spoke, Bentley had already spotted areas he wants to improve at his new club.

He wants to continue the positive trajectory that has been the story of AFC Fylde over recent years under their former boss Dave Challinor.

Bentley added: “The club is going upwards, it’s had success and there are areas that I’ve looked at already and thought could do with improving – off the field, in regards to certain positions, certain things, what I’ve been used to at Morecambe ... there’s a lot to take into consideration.

“The chairman is prepared to do what’s needed.

“I’m hoping to progress his football club and if I feel the need to put something else in place to go with what else has already been put in here I’ll certainly do that.

“It’s all about progress and it’s all about getting to the Football League.

“It’s been a place you’ve looked at from the outside over the years and seen how well it’s developed and progressed.

“Some fantastic work has gone in by the chairman and also Dave Challinor as well.

“I know Chally very well. I’ve actually been on a coaching course with him and I know how he works.

“I’ve got big boots to fill, so I’m looking forward to the challenge.

“Seventeen and a half years at another club – it’s very rare in this day and age as a player, a captain, a manager and an ambassador for the town.

“It’s been a difficult few days for me.

“I think it came about a couple of days after the Bradford game for Morecambe. They’ve gone down the right channels and asked for permission to speak to me.

“At that stage, at the time, with certain things going on at Morecambe, I came and spoke to the chairman, with the chief executive and with the life president and I got a good feeling.”