Morecambe boss made move for AJ Leitch-Smith

AJ Leitch-Smith, right, in action for Yeovil against Fleetwood.
AJ Leitch-Smith, right, in action for Yeovil against Fleetwood.
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Morecambe boss Jim Bentley has revealed the identity of the striker he missed out on.

Former Yeovil and Crewe front man AJ Leitch-Smith turned down a move to the Shrimps last Friday, instead putting pen to paper with League 1 Port Vale.

Bentley is on the hunt for a forward to fill the void left by Jack Redshaw’s move to Blackpool.

The Shrimps boss said: “It’s a little bit frustrating.

“We offered AJ Leitch-Smith a deal and had a good chat with him but he’s opted to stay in League 1 with a club near to where he lives in Port Vale.

“He’d recently been released by Yeovil and we were unlucky there.

“There’s one or two other targets. A few forwards are still on trial at other clubs and I’m confident that we will get one in and we’re doing all we can to make sure it’s the right one.”

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Bentley wants someone with experience of League 2 and preferably, League 1, with Paul Mullin and first year professional Jack Kelleher the only out and out strikers on the books.

He said: “Someone who’s got a little bit of experience at this level and even the level above would be ideal.

“But they are hard to come by. Everyone wants a forward, everyone wants a 15 or 20 goal a season man and they are out there but people are snapping them up.

“There were a couple of targets I would have taken to replace Jack earlier in the summer but the timing meant they’d already moved on.

“It’s a little bit unfortunate but there are still players out there and we want to get the right one, not just sign one for the sake of it.”

Trialists Luke Pritchard, a winger formerly of Preston North End, and Tony Thompson, a goalkeeper previously with Rotherham, remain with the club.

Kevin Ellison’s brother Ryan trained with the club for the opening two weeks of pre-season in his bid to regain fitness after a serious injury at Oldham but has now left.

Bentley said: “We’ve got Luke Pritchard and Tony Thompson that we’re running the rule over.

“They’ll play a full game away at Carnforth (on Monday night) so we have can have a good luck at them.

“We’ll probably make a decision on them next week.”

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