Manager Jim Bentley targets players to complete AFC Fylde 'jigsaw'

AFC Fylde boss Jim Bentley says player recruitment is at the top of his agenda before the squad reports back for pre-season training later this month.

By Andy Moore
Friday, 4th June 2021, 8:00 am

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There are gaps to fill after the Mill Farm club released seven out-of-contract players and manager Bentley is striving to complete “those last bits of the jigsaw that are going to make us better”.

The early end to Fylde’s season at least enabled Bentley and his staff to attend matches when possible and scout potential recruits.

Jim Bentley has been scouting at matches and amassing data ahead of this summer's recruitment

Fylde have agreed a new two-year deal with influential midfielder Danny Philliskirk and Bentley has drawn up lists of potential reinforcements.

The Coasters boss told the club website: “There are a lot of chats, conversations, phone calls and meetings taking place. The time we’ve had was an opportunity to go and watch games, Covid-permitting.

“We had a couple of trips as far as Scotland, and trips around the local area to watch certain games and certain players.

“It’s important that we go out and watch and take on board the data we are given. We are identifying players all the time. We’re compiling lists for certain positions and we’re pleased with the players we have kept.

“We have a good nucleus of a solid squad and now it’s up to us to fill in those little bits of the jigsaw that are going to make us better.

“Unfortunately, like at any club, players leave and now it’s our duty to try to improve. We are comfortable with where we were last season. We were top on points-per-game.

“It’s now about getting those final pieces in place to make us better again.

“Whether that happens straight away or takes a bit of time remains to be seen because a lot of background checks go on.

“We’re doing our due diligence to tick all the boxes we can to get the right individuals to come in and improve the teams.”

Bentley, who attended former club Morecambe’s play-off final at Wembley on Monday, expects the process to continue into pre-season, with players given trials.

He added: “There’s a lot of hard work going on behind the scenes and that will continue. You don’t know what’s around the corner because there are a lot of players out of contract and we have to do our utmost to get the right players in.

“We have compiled lists and ultimately we want players who are good enough to do the business, force their way into our starting 11 every week and contribute to what will hopefully be a successful season.”

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