AFC Fylde boss hopes to strengthen further following striker’s arrival

AFC Fylde manager Jim Bentley would like to reinforce his squad further
AFC Fylde manager Jim Bentley would like to reinforce his squad further

Jim Bentley has described the loan acquisition of Jamie Proctor as a ‘big’ signing for AFC Fylde.

The Rotherham United man was brought in to replace Danny Rowe, who moved on to Oldham Athletic last week.

The 27-year-old has a host of EFL experience, starting at Preston North End, before moves to clubs including Swansea City, Fleetwood Town, Bradford City and Bolton Wanderers.

Proctor was a man with whom Bentley was familiar prior to his arrival – and isn’t against keeping the former Preston youth player around beyond the summer.

He said: “It’s a good signing, it’s a big signing for us.

“He’s played all his football in the league and has played as high as the Championship only 18 months or so ago.

“I’ve seen Jamie as a youngster coming through at Preston and played against him a few times with Morecambe.

“We’ve seen him go around, have a good time at some places and score some goals.

“This season he played against Morecambe for Scunthorpe and I thought he was excellent on the day.

“He’s one of those lads, at 27, he has a lot to prove still.

“He’s had one or two injury problems, he’s moved around the country a bit but now we’ve got him back home, he’s eager to play, he’s eager to do well for us.

“He’s 10 minutes from the ground and he’s coming in with a clear mind of where he wants to be and what he wants to do.

“We’re happy to have him on board and give him a platform to get himself back playing football and get himself back up and running.

“Who knows what the future holds? He may enjoy it here, he may do well for us.

“Potentially, for next season, it might be one that ticks all the boxes.

“But for now, and this season, he’s here on loan and we’re looking forward to working with him.

“He knows a few of the lads already with the Preston link and living close. It’s all good so far.

“He’s champing at the bit, ready to go.”

Bentley isn’t content with the arrivals of Proctor and Tom Walker as he has reinforcements in mind at both ends of the pitch.

Recruitment has ground to a halt of late but the Coasters’ boss is conscious of his squad size.

There have been more outgoings than incomings this month at Mill Farm but that isn’t for the want of trying.

Bentley said: “We’re working on a few things at the minute, we’ve hit a few brick walls.

“We’ve got one or two offers out for certain players.

“There is a little bit of interest in one of our players, we need to make sure we do what’s right for the club and make sure we don’t leave ourselves too light.

“Since I’ve been at the club Elton Ngwatala went, we’ve got Tyler Forbes who’s gone, Scott Duxbury’s gone on loan, we lost Danny Rowe to Oldham, young Sheldon Green has gone out on loan.

“There are five that have gone and we’ve only brought in Tom Walker and Jamie.

“We still feel we need one or two, we are light in one or two areas.”

Although Fylde are three points off safety in the National League, Bentley and his squad are still in good spirits.

They travel to Chesterfield this weekend winless in five, having put back-to-back league wins together before.

The Coasters have at least one game in hand on those currently above them and the manager doesn’t think his side are far away from putting a good run of results together.

“The spirit is good, they’re an honest group,” Bentley said.

“I see them after the games and it hurts them to lose a game of football. That’s a good sign.

“They are grafting, they are competing, they are honest and we have a good togetherness. We’re going to need all that.

“Anyone that comes into the squad or into the team needs to make sure that they bring that as well.

“Overall, there is room for improvement but I don’t think we’re far away.”