AFC Fylde manager Jim Bentley admits he has started a learning process at Mill Farm

Fylde's players and new manager Jim Bentley (left) 'weighing each other up' earlier this week Picture: PETER HEYWORTH / AFC FYLDE
Fylde's players and new manager Jim Bentley (left) 'weighing each other up' earlier this week Picture: PETER HEYWORTH / AFC FYLDE

New AFC Fylde manager Jim Bentley admits that meeting his new players this week was intimidating.

An imposing figure himself, Bentley explained that this initial period is about his staff and the players trying to get the measure of each other.

He said: “When you start any new job, certainly in football, it’s quite intimidating.

“When you go into a dressing room everyone is weighing you up. It’s that type of an environment.

“It was a bit of a bizarre one because on Monday I said goodbye to one set of players and one set of staff, and then a couple of hours later I was in front of another group of players saying hello and welcome.

“It was like getting divorced in the morning and remarried in the afternoon! It was a bit of a mad one.”

The following day brought a long trip to Maidenhead and Bentley continued: “We had to travel down together on the coach and we got among them a little bit.

“Where the players are working us out, we’re also working them out.

“It’s a time for assessing everything, picking the bones out of what goes well for us and what doesn’t, what areas we need to improve, what people need, are there introverts or extroverts, do they need a tickle, an arm round or a kick up the backside? We’ll weigh all that up.

“I’ve been told in the past that I’m a very good man manager and I pride myself on that.

“I’ve had some lovely texts from Morecambe players. Some of them said I’ve been the best manager that they’ve played for.

“Whatever reason that is, it’s really pleasing for me. It’s a case of doing the same here.

“I’m stern but fair. I don’t hold grudges and I said that to the players.

“We had a positive meeting before the game, and went through a few things and ideas, because we obviously hadn’t worked with them yet.

“It’s about putting the foundations in and building up those relationships with the players.

“They’ve been fantastic so far.

“There was a nice spirit among them. There’s a nice spirit in training. Everyone’s on time, the sun’s been out and we’re looking forward to the game on Saturday.”

Having spent 17-and-a-half years at one club, Bentley is now starting over at a level he left behind in 2007 when winning promotion as a Shrimps player.

The 43-year-old is familiar with some of the sides he will be opposing in the National League, as they dropped out of League Two while he was keeping Morecambe up.

But the new Coasters boss is enjoying all that has come with the new role so far.

“There’s a lot to learn,” he said. “It’s one of those periods when you’ve got to look at everything – the players, the staff, the league.

“We obviously know some of this league’s team because we’ve played against them in the Football League – Yeovil, Wrexham, Chesterfield, Barnet, Notts County...

“The staff so far have been excellent – the chief executive, the staff behind the scenes, the staff already in place .... we’ve all really enjoyed it. It’s important that we continue to do that and keep moving forward.”

Bentley is looking foward to his first home game against Dover Athletic tomorrow and added: “The players have had long trips on Saturday (to Boreham Wood) and Tuesday.

“It’s a bit taxing on the lads who have had to play back to back but you’ve got to use those recovery sessions to start implementing your own ideas.

“Training this week is an opportunity to go through a few details we think worked well at our previous club.

“If it means putting in half an hour during the recovery session we’ll do it. And we’ll continue to do it moving forward to make sure we stamp our ideas on the squad and what we want to do.”