AFC Fylde boss Jim Bentley on his lifelong passion for the FA Cup

Jim Bentley hailed the "positive environment" at AFC Fylde
Jim Bentley hailed the "positive environment" at AFC Fylde

According to AFC Fylde manager Jim Bentley, nothing beats the FA Cup

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His side will play in the famous old competition away to Northern Premier League outfit Nantwich Town tomorrow.

Having grown up on Merseyside during a successful period for both the red and blue sides, Bentley is still captivated by the cup.

He said: “I was brought up on it, living in Liverpool in the 1980s when Liverpool and Everton were very successful.

“It’s been ingrained in me that the FA Cup is the best cup competition in the world.

“It’s nice when it comes around. It’s a welcome break from the league. It’s nice financially and the exposure that the FA Cup can give you.

“This is our opportunity. We’ll give Nantwich the utmost respect and we’ll do our homework as we always do whoever we’re against.

“They’re a decent outfit and they’ve got good players in their ranks.

“But I told the players it’s a good opportunity to give it our all and get ourselves into the hat for the next round. There’s nothing like the excitement of the FA Cup.”

And that outweighs the financial benefits for Bentley, though of course a lucrative cup run helps.

“It’s not all about financial reward for me – it’s about progressing and winning games,” he continued. “The nice thing that’s added on is the financial reward for winning games.

“The main thing for us is to try to get into the hat for the next round. The chairman and the chief executive will sort out the finances.

“But it will make the job a little bit easier if you can inject that little bit of money into the coffers.

“We want to progress on the field first and foremost by staying unbeaten, and getting the momentum and confidence moving forward.

“The team is in a decent place at the moment.

“We’ll take everything that comes our way. If we do win we’ll look at the finances and see what we can do to improve the club on and off the field.”

Having recently ‘divorced’ Morecambe following a 17-year association with the Shrimps, Bentley is still getting used to his new marriage.

But after his first full week on the training ground, initial impressions of Mill Farm have all been positive.

Bentley says he is willing to experiment but won’t venture too far from the philosophy that has served him well in eight years as a manager.

“I’m getting there,” he explained. “It’s a positive environment. The players have been fantastic and the staff have been great. Everything is good. We’re all pulling in the same direction.

“I’m really pleased so far. We just need to keep building on what we’re doing, and hopefully start getting results and doing well.

“It’s all very similar but when you come to a new set of players it does give you the opportunity to try something different.

“There’s maybe an uplift in your personality. This place is a great place to come and work.

“I’m not saying Morecambe wasn’t, but today the training pitch was waterlogged and you come straight on to the astro turf – all organised, all done.

“That’s pleasing and it makes my job easier.

“The staff that were already in place have been really good.

“There are things that maybe I would have done in the past but now they’re doing it and I’m just letting them run with it.

“It’s going to take time to get our feet under the table and get acclimatised with the club and how it works.

“But it’s been pleasing and there are opportunities to try different things.

“It won’t be anything out of the ordinary because I believe I was successful in my last job, so why change too much?”