Bentley weighs up move for Wembley team mate Thompson
Jim Bentley says he's got plenty to ponder when it comes to any sensational Morecambe return for Wembley hero Garry Thompson.
The 36-year-old, who came through the ranks at the club and scored at the national stadium when the Shrimps were promoted to the Football League 10 years ago, is a free agent after leaving Wycombe.
Thompson was at the Globe Arena on Saturday as the side that beat Exeter City in the Conference play-off final back in 2007 came back together.
Fans at the event chanted “sign him up”, the winger who originally left the Shrimps for Scunthorpe back in 2008 still a very popular figure.
“Thommo’s well liked here and rightly so,” said Bentley, who skippered the side to promotion at Wembley.
“He said himself he was a boy when he joined the club, he played at Wembley, scored and left as a man.
“He’s gone on to make 700 league appearances, he’s played at Wembley five times and been very successful and you can see the reception he gets when he’s here.
“For me, he’s still capable. He’s a northern lad, he’s based in Kendal and so it might be one for us.
“We’ve got to see what finances we’ve got and whether we’re just taking him for sentimental reasons.
“It’s got to tick all the boxes I need footballing wise, what he needs and what the club needs.
“We’ve spoken as friends, ex-team mates, but my job as manager is to do what’s best by the football club.
“There’s a lot to take into consideration.
“Is he going to be good for the group? Can he still produce? What are the financial implications? Will he hinder anyone else who is at the club? Will he bring anyone else on at the club? Will he be an experienced player that can help the team?
“I’ll assess all that over the next week or two.”
Bentley has a hectic few weeks ahead, his released list including the confirmed departures of Peter Murphy, who has retired, and Liam Wakefield while contract offers have been made to Michael Rose, Kevin Ellison, Barry Roche, Aaron Wildig, Alex Kenyon, Paul Mullin and Ryan Edwards.
Work can begin in earnest after Graham Burnard was confirmed as the club’s majority shareholder last week, Diego Lemos’ court case having been thrown out.
“It’s my job now to try and keep hold of the nucleus of the squad that we’ve got,” said Bentley.
“The court appearance in the week was a big factor because everyone’s been scarred by the season we’ve had.
“I can understand players’ concerns but now we have that united front and that stability back in the club it becomes a little bit easier.
“A couple of players have verbally agreed to stay with us, we’re working on one or two others, we know that one or two will probably move away which is out of our control.
“It’s down to me to have a couple of meetings to see what we’ve got available and to go out and strengthen the squad to kick on.
“It’s all about progression and improvement.”