In his latest Extra-Time blog ADAM LORD says that although Morecambe’s season may have been “over” some weeks ago, there have been plenty of encouraging signs on and off the field.
Describing a season as “over” usually implies failure.
The term is often trotted out as promotion bids falter or clubs bow out of the last competition they had any hope of winning.
But in Morecambe FC’s case, when it became apparent that they weren’t going to reach the play-offs and were well clear of any relegation scrap, the season being “over” has to be considered success for a club most outside the resort predicted would finish 20th or worse.
And in the weeks since the Shrimps passed the magic 50-point mark, there have been several encouraging signs.
Jim Bentley is completing an impressive first season in charge by not wasting a second in preparation for next season.
Players who were going to leave the club, namely Phil Jevons and Paul Scott, have agreed deals to end their contracts rather than delaying the inevitable.
Season-ending injuries to senior players, namely Nick Fenton, Stewart Drummond, Laurence Wilson and Kevin Ellison, have meant Bentley’s desire to blood some of the club’s youth products, the likes of Niall Cowperthwaite, and the two Joes, Mwasile and McGee, has become a necessity.
All this means Bentley has been able to cast a proper eye over what he has at his disposal for next season, and perhaps more importantly, where he needs to strengthen.
Two of the younger players signed by Bentley himself, Jack Redshaw and Jordan Burrow, have especially caught the eye in recent weeks, with loanee Craig Curran, signed with a view to joining the club on a permanent basis from Carlisle in the summer, completing a fresh-looking front line.
The focus on next season doesn’t mean anyone is coasting though, certainly not if the gaffer has his way.
Despite the squad against Rotherham being the Shrimps’ youngest of the season, Bentley pulled no punches as he blasted his side for losing out in a tight game, 3-2, as they have done so many times this season.
With that in mind, I’m sure all involved will be going all out to make sure the home fans leave the Globe Arena happy after Saturday’s final home game against Plymouth, especially considering the troubles the Shrimps have had on home turf this season.