AFC Fylde are delighted to confirm the appointment of Jim Bentley as the club’s new Manager.

Jim Bentley joins the Coasters after a 17 year affinity with Morecambe FC, first as a player, and then as manager, taking up the reins back in May 2011.

He will be joined at Mill Farm by his long-term assistant Ken McKenna, and Goalkeeping Coach Lee Jones, all of which signing contracts which will run until the end of the 2021/22 season.

Bentley’s eight and a half year spell at Morecambe made him the longest serving manager in the top four divisions of English football, before stepping down from the role earlier today.

“It’s been an emotional couple of days, but it’s for the right reasons – I’m coming to a new venture now which I’m really excited about,” said Bentley.

“I’m very proud of the job I’ve done there, but I want a CV that shows promotions as much as the survival.”

“It’s totally geared to go up here, it’s a club going in the right direction, and hopefully I can carry on the good work that David Challinor did here.”

The replacement of long-serving manager Dave Challinor was a crucial one for Chairman David Haythornthwaite, who is delighted to have secured Bentley’s services. 

“I would first like to say a big thank you to Rod Taylor, the Morecambe Chairman, and everyone else at the club for the way in which they have handed this very sensitive situation.”

“I can say that from day one they have been professional, polite and accommodating, something that you don’t find too often in football.”

“It goes without saying we are delighted to have secured Jim’s services and that of his long time assistant Ken McKenna,” continued Haythornthwaite.

“As you may imagine, we had a lot of applications for this job and did interview two other candidates but once we knew of Jim’s interest things moved very quickly.” 

“Jim has done a fantastic job at Morecambe and has been an amazingly loyal servant of the club for the past seventeen years which says a lot about the kind of man he is.”

The Perfect Fit

“We believe Jim will be a perfect fit for the club not just on the pitch, but off as well, as he understands where we are in trying to build a football club from scratch,” said Chairman David Haythornthwaite.

“We are not a Wrexham, a Stockport or a Chesterfield with their long history and huge fan base, but more a Forest Green or a Crawley – and it is important for all concerned with the club that we understand and embrace that.”

“Jim’s knowledge of local football, his wealth of contacts and his understanding of the league above will ensure we have the best chance of achieving our long term plan of getting in the Football League by 2022.” 

“We will provide him with the funds and management support he needs so that he can focus everyday without distraction on football, and nothing else.”

“It’s an exiting new era for the club and I hope everyone will get behind Jim and the new management team.”

To watch Jim Bentley’s first interview with the club, please click here.