AFC Fylde boss Jim Bentley ready to get busy in transfer market ... after the window closes

Jim Bentley is another manager trying to make moves for players – but unlike Simon Grayson and Joey Barton the AFC Fylde boss expects he will have to wait until after tonight’s transfer deadline.

Friday, 31st January 2020, 6:00 am
It's a new experience for Fylde boss Jim Bentley not having to make signings during transfer windows

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Jim Bentley keeps the faith in AFC Fylde squad

The January transfer window only affects Football League and Premier League sides, while Fylde can do deals all year round in the National League.

But Bentley is waiting on players to make up their minds.

He told the Gazette: “This is my first experience of being outside the EFL transfer window, so it does play differently.

“You have that month where you’ve got to get it done. There will be a lot of the EFL sides scrambling around now, either trying to get some in or trying to get some out so they can free up funds.

“We’re looking, we’re actively looking. We’ve had a few offers for players that have been taken away and thought about, but players try to keep all options open as long as they can. A lot of them want to stay in the Football League if they’re already there.

“We’ve just got to make sure we get the timing right with it all. Where you might miss out on one, you might not miss out on another one.”

It’s why Bentley is expecting next week to be busier than this one.

“It goes without saying that there are players we’ve spoken to who are in the Football League and want to stay in it,” he explained.

“If something doesn’t tick all the boxes, they may see us as a potential option to turn their career around or to come and play football.

“We’re hanging around waiting for EFL players who might have options elsewhere.

“It’s a balancing act and a timing act, but we are looking at all players from the league below ours and the league above.

“We’re trying to do business and hopefully we’ll be more active next week than this week.”

Bentley’s top priority this week is preparing for tomorrow’s home game against Boreham Wood as Fylde bid to end an eight-match winless run in the National League which has left them third-bottom.

One player who won’t be involved is striker Kurt Willoughby, who could make his debut for York against Chester in National League North following a one-month loan move.

Bentley stressed this does not mean Fylde fans have seen the last of the Blackpool-born 22-year-old, who has made 17 Coasters appearances since signing last summer.

He said: “Kurt is on contract for next season. He’s gradually getting better and better in training.

“He’s had a hernia operation that has kept him out for some time.

“At the minute we don’t see him starting ahead of one or two of the other players, so he’s been a bit of a bit-part player off the bench, getting 20 minutes here or half an hour there.

“He’s gone for a month for now to see if he can start churning out a couple of 90 minutes and get his mojo back. It’s important that we do right by him. We’ve got to get him firing again and see if he can come back and affect our first team.

“If we bring anyone in in the meantime we feel can do better than Kurt, then there’s a conversation to be had.

“There’s a lot to take into consideration from our club, from York and from Kurt himself.”