Jim Bentley’s message to Morecambe players considering new contracts

Barry Roche and Mark Halstead were both offered new contracts by Morecambe
Barry Roche and Mark Halstead were both offered new contracts by Morecambe

Morecambe boss Jim Bentley has warned players mulling over new contracts that the grass is not always necessarily greener away from the Globe Arena.

The Shrimps are now at that stage of the season when they are awaiting on contract offers made to players at the end of the season.

Ten senior players were offered new contracts, namely Andy Fleming, A-Jay Leitch-Smith, Barry Roche, Mark Halstead, Zak Mills, Luke Conlan, Kevin Ellison, Aaron Wildig, Jordan Cranston and Aaron Collins.

Options were also taken up on four youngsters – Carlos Mendes Gomes, Lamin Jagne, Kyle Hawley and Tyler Brownsword – while Steve Old, Sam Lavelle, Ritchie Sutton, Rhys Oates and Andrew Tutte were already under contract.

One signing has already been made with teenage striker Michael Howard joining the Shrimps after being released by Preston North End.

Of the 10 players offered deals, Fleming and Leitch-Smith have already put pen to paper with the expectation that more will follow.

However, Collins and Mills are expected to have attracted interest from elsewhere given their performances last season.

Mills won player-of-the-year prizes for his consistent displays in his first season with the club.

For his part, Collins ended the season as top scorer with eight goals – having only joined the Shrimps at the start of February.

While acknowledging that losing his best players is now a fact of life, Bentley admitted those players in demand have to be careful when weighing up what lies ahead.

He said: “What usually happens in the past is players who have done well move on to bigger and better things.

“People can go away and not play football but be financially better off and live closer to home.”

Vadaine Oliver, Dawid Szczepaniak, Ben Hedley, Adam Campbell and James Sinclair were released while the club was in discussions with Alex Kenyon, whose contract was also due to expire.

Also departing the club were loanees Piero Mingoia, Richie Bennett, Paul McKay, Sam Dalby and Liam Mandeville.

Of those five, Bennett and Mandeville have been released by Carlisle United and Doncaster Rovers respectively after their deals expired.