Ellison:My battles with Jimbo

JIM Bentley signed seven players this week – and has high hopes of another joining his squad shortly.

But Bentley appears to have missed out on re-signing Craig Stanley who looks set to sign for Bristol Rovers.

Rovers were relegated from League One at the end of last season and new manager Paul Buckle signed Stanley for Torquay last season.

Bentley said: “I’m disappointed not to sign Craig but I wish him well for the future.

“I’m already making plans to replace him.”

Kevin Ellison became Bentley’s first new signing since taking over from Sammy McIlroy and both Will Haining and Lawrence Wilson agreed new deals much to Bentley’s delight.

Four teenagers penned their first full-time contracts in a hectic period for the new boss who is also hoping to sign a right sided wide player next week.

Wide man Ellison, 32, joined on a one-year deal after being released by Rotherham while Haining and Wilson signed new deals after both thought they were heading for the Globe Arena exit door after last season’s disappointing campaign.

Ellison said he was glad to be on the same side as Bentley after numerous duels over the years.

He joked: “Every time I came up against Jim I think we had to be pulled apart on the pitch.

“We are both great competitors and have a great desire to win and I think he liked that in me.

Now

“I have always had great respect for him as a player and I’m pretty sure he will have the same desire as a manager as well and although I had a few offers on the table Jim persuaded me that Morecambe was the club to come to and I can’t wait to get going now.

“It’s a lovely new stadium and I’ve always heard nice things about the club so I’m glad to be here.’’

The Shrimps have signed four youngsters on one year contracts with Sean Breen, Joe Culshaw, Dan Parkinson and Joe Mwasilie all awarded their first contracts after impressing Bentley and youth team coach Dickie Danson last season.

Bentley said: “It has been a really busy week but a very rewarding one.

“I have always admired Kevin Ellison as a player and I am delighted to have seen Will and Laurence re-signing for us.

“They are both excellent League 2 players and when I got the job I made it one of my first objectives to make sure they stayed and I am glad to say it worked out.’’

Speaking about the teenagers he said: “All the boys we have signed have talent and I want to give them a chance to develop.

“Niall Cowperthwaite did well when he got his chance in the first team at the end of the season and I would love us to bring more boys through in the future.

“Dickie Danson has worked closely with these boys on a daily basis and he deserves a huge amount of credit for the work he has done with them and I hope their development continues over the next 12 months.’’

Bentley is now aiming to sign a right sided player who he has been speaking to this week.

He said: “I have been in close contact with another player who I rate highly and the talks have gone well so far.

“Nothing has been sorted yet but I am hoping we can sort a deal out in the next week or so.”