Morecambe boss Bentley targets six new faces

Morecambe boss Jim Bentley with his new signing Tom Barkhuizen. Picture: Matt Rushton
Morecambe boss Jim Bentley with his new signing Tom Barkhuizen. Picture: Matt Rushton

Jim Bentley is targeting six new faces this summer.

The Shrimps boss has plenty of work to do having released eight players, including captain Mark Hughes and striker Padraig Amond, as he looks to build on an 11th-place finish in League 2.

He has already moved quickly to make Tom Barkhuizen his first summer signing – bringing in the former loanee on a two-year deal after his release by Blackpool.

Kevin Ellison and Andy Fleming have also signed new one-year deals with Andreas Arestidou and Chris Doyle in talks over new contracts.

Bentley said: “We’re looking around the six mark.

“We’ve got one or two who are negotiations at the minute in Arestiodou and Doyle but I think we can bring six into the group, one of them being Tom Barkhuizen.

“If we can get the right ones in then hopefully we can kick on.

“I’m not one to accept 11th place in the table.

“It’s successful but I’m still tinged with frustration that we weren’t further up the field.”

Hughes’ departure means the captaincy is one of several big issues Bentley has to solve before the new season begins in August.

He said: “We’ll have to wait and see.

“There’s some key positions that we’ve got to nail down.

“I have had targets over the last couple of months but we’ve spoken to certain players and one or two have straight away been priced well out of our range.

“I know what we need and if we were one of the top clubs it wouldn’t be a problem to get them in.

“But we know what we can and can’t spend and we’ve got realistic targets.”

The recruitment of Barkhuizen is another example, like Shaun Beeley, Ryan Edwards and Jamie Devitt before, of Bentley taking a good look at a player for taking the plunge and tieing them down.

He said: “We can’t afford to get many signings wrong.

“The last thing I want to do is sign a person on hearsay or a recommendation of an agent.

“I like to meet the player, look him in the eye, have a coffee with them, have an hour and a half chat with them.

“I do as much work as possible to make sure they’re the right one for the group.

“If we have someone come in and it doesn’t work it’s a waste of a signing or a waste of a wage and we’re not blessed to be able to move people out of the way and bring someone in.

“Whatever we go with we run with.”