AFC Fylde boss Jim Bentley says strikers Kurt Willoughby and Sheldon Green need to be "main men" at their next clubs

Blackpool-born striker Kurt Willoughby needs to find a new club where he will be “the main man”, says AFC Fylde boss Jim Bentley.

Thursday, 20th May 2021, 4:45 pm

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The 23-year-old hitman is among seven out-of-contract players to be released by the Coasters this summer.

Willoughby has spent two seasons at Mill Farm, both of them curtailed by coronavirus, having signed from FC United of Manchester.

Kurt Willoughby is to be released after two seasons at AFC Fylde

He made 20 National League appearances in 2019-20 but has been unable to cement a regular spot and manager Bentley feels he should join a club where he will be the focal point of attack.

The Coasters boss said: “Kurt came to the club with a good goalscoring record. He has trained well and gone about his business really well.

“When I arrived he had a hernia operation and since he came back he became a bit of a bit-part player.

“People will say he hasn’t had a fair crack of the whip and a run of games, but I don’t want to hold back a player who has been here two seasons and never really been a regular.

“I think it would be wrong to keep him here just to sit on the bench. I can see in training he’s desperate to play and he pushes himself every day.

“He believes in himself and he needs to go and play somewhere where he is the main man.”

The same applies to fellow striker Sheldon Green an academy graduate also released after two years.

Bentley said: “Sheldon is another local boy and he has come through the ranks. He wasn’t ready when I arrived but I was really impressed with his attitude.

“He did really well on loan at Bamber Bridge and you could see a difference in him when he came back.

“He got closer to the first team but then Covid kicked in. That meant he didn’t get a loan move, though there was one lined up, then he got injured and was out for a few months with a hamstring.

“He’s desperate to be a main striker at a club and we don’t feel that will be here.

“Now Sheldon has been given a fantastic opportunity to go out to America and play some football. We’ll keep in touch with him over the coming months to see how he’s getting on over there.”

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