Morecambe FC make a double signing

Rhys Oates has joined Morecambe
Rhys Oates has joined Morecambe

Morecambe manager Jim Bentley has added to his squad with a double signing.

The Shrimps’ boss has brought in former Hartlepool United striker Rhys Oates and Grimsby Town defender Zak Mills.

Both players will join the Shrimps on July 1 as they prepare for the 2018/19 League Two season.

Having previously represented Barnsley, Grimsby and Chester, Oates joined Hartlepool in 2016 and scored 15 times in 109 appearances.

He featured for Pools at the Globe Arena last season when the Shrimps won the FA Cup first round meeting between the two clubs.

“Rhys is a player we’ve always liked and has great potential,” Bentley told the club website.

“We’ve tried to sign him permanently or on loan in the past once Hartlepool were relegated.

“He’s wholehearted, works hard, a good athlete and has decent pace and technical ability.

“He can play anywhere in the forward positions and he’s always impressed us when we’ve seen him play.

“I’m sure if Rhys gets going and plays with confidence he will do very well. We’re looking forward to working with him.”

Oates has penned a two-year deal with the Shrimps while Mills has agreed a one-year-contract.

He made more than 60 league and cup appearances for Grimsby after joining them from Boston United in the summer of 2016.

As with Oates, he has also previously featured against Morecambe with two appearances in matches where the Shrimps have taken three points.

It would seem Mills will fill the hole created by Aaron McGowan’s departure, though Bentley also pointed to his versatility.

Bentley said: “Zak has a non-league background and is very hungry and focused.

“Again, like Rhys, he is a player we’ve always been impressed with in the past when we’ve seen him play or played against us.

“He’s a good athlete, decent defender and has a couple of years’ experience playing at League Two.

“He is a right-back but we’ve actually seen him play left-back and centre midfield which always helps.

“We see him as a player who can get even better.”