Adam Lord: Quiet sense of optimism around the Globe Arena ahead of new season

Paul Mullin. Picture: Matt Rushton
Paul Mullin. Picture: Matt Rushton
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If you walk around the Globe Arena there’s certainly something in the air.

The Shrimps may once again be amongst the underdogs in League 2 but there is a quiet sense of optimism that this could be the year when Jim Bentley’s side truly cause a shock.

Jack Redshaw in action for Blackpool.

Jack Redshaw in action for Blackpool.

The club are improving year-on-year under their Wembley skipper and another season of accumulating more points puts them in a prime spot for one of the coveted top seven places in the Football League’s bottom tier.

Don’t shout too loudly about The Shrimps’ chances though, it’s not very Morecambe.

The facts remain though that after a strong 2014-2015, where fan frustration lay in a stumbling bid to reach the play-offs rather than any notion of struggles at the bottom, that Bentley looks to have recruited well.

Despite some eyebrows being raised at some senior and established professionals being let go at the end of their contracts, captain Mark Hughes and the popular Padraig Amond amongst them, there is a sense of excitement about the new faces that have come through the door.

For the very latest Morecambe FC news check out our Shrimps Live blog

Aaron Wildig and Peter Murphy address what the Morecambe boss believed was a weak area in the middle of the park while Lee Molyneux and Tom Barkhuizen will add versatility in attack. Towering defender Adam Dugdale will bring steel to the back and in Charlie Bailey and Jack Kelleher the club look to have two of the most promising youngsters to have come through the ranks in some time. All the more impressive is that this has come with a budget reduced due to the lack of a ground sponsorship and last season’s goalkeeping woes, which this year will hopefully be fixed by the return from a serious hip injury of the Shrimps’ undisputed number one Barry Roche.

There is one elephant in the room however as Bentley looks to mastermind another unlikely top-half finish after last season’s 11th place.

Jack Redshaw’s departure to Blackpool leaves a huge hole in the Shrimps squad.

Pretty much everyone seems in agreement that the move came at the right time for both club and player, but it doesn’t get away from the fact that Morecambe’s prize asset, and top goalscorer last season, has moved on.

Paul Mullin has certainly gone the right way about staking a claim to fill Redshaw’s boots at the head of The Shrimps’ attack.

After impressing last pre-season to earn a deal, the former Liverpool youngster has been banging in the goals again in the run-up to the new campaign.

Bentley is keen to describe the 20-year-old as a “project” but Mullin wants to show that his time is now.

At the back The Shrimps had a solid look last season, especially when they switched to three central defenders, and it is therefore replacing the goals scored by Redshaw and Amond that will determine whether 2015-2016 season can be deemed a success. If that can be achieved in a division that looks tougher on paper than it did 12 months ago then who knows what is possible?

Not that much is expected elsewhere as once again nobody is looking at Morecambe as a potential force in League 2. Here’s the thing though. That’s just the way they like it at the Globe Arena.

For the very latest Morecambe FC news check out our Shrimps Live blog