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Morecambe FC legend Jim Bentley appointed new manager of Rochdale

Jim Bentley

Morecambe FC legend Jim Bentley has been appointed the new manager of Rochdale.

The former Shrimps boss and captain has joined the League Two club on a two-year contract.

Rochdale currently lie bottom of League Two and sacked their previous manager Robbie Stockdale earlier this month.

Bentley, 46, has been without a club since he was dismissed by AFC Fylde earlier this year.

He will take his first training session today (August 29) and will be in the dugout for Tuesday night’s Papa John’s Trophy group stage tie against Accrington Stanley. 

“I am delighted and proud to become the new manager of Rochdale Football Club,” said Bentley. 

“The football club has had some difficult times on and off the pitch over the last few seasons and I am determined to help improve things, move the club forward, and give the fans something to cheer about and be proud of.

“We find ourselves in a difficult position at this present time, but we are only at the very start of the season and I am ready for the challenge that lies ahead.

“I am excited to take up this role and grateful to the board of directors for this opportunity. One thing I can guarantee is that I will give my absolute all for the football club, the supporters and the town.” 

Jim joined the Shrimps as a player in 2002 and made around 300 appearances for the club.

The no-nonsense central defender captained the side to victory at Wembley in 2007, when they defeated Exeter City 2-1 in the Conference Play-Off Final to reach the Football League for the very first time.

The Merseysider was then appointed manager in 2011 and went on to lead the team a further 434 times over eight years, keeping them in League Two during a challenging period for the club due to budgetary constraints and an off-field ownership controversy.

He was the longest serving manager across the Premier League and EFL (English Football League) until his departure from Morecambe in October 2019 to join AFC Fylde. 

Bentley remains an iconic figure at Morecambe FC and a hero to Shrimps fans.

Jim recently spoke to Beyond Radio's Greg Lambert about his desire to get back into football management, when he visited Morecambe FC for their match against Fleetwood Town for a pre-match Q&A in the Local Choice Suite.

Jim Bentley interview

Former Morecambe FC manager and Shrimps' legend, Jim Bentley, was a special guest of the Club at the weekend. He chatted to Greg Lambert to discuss his favourite memories, his recovery from heart surgery, and his desire to return to football. Click here to listen:

Posted by Beyond Radio on Tuesday, August 16, 2022

 

Rochdale chairman Simon Gauge said: “I am delighted to welcome Jim Bentley to Rochdale AFC.

“The Board and I felt it was really important that we not only recruited a manager that has had proven League Two playing and management experience, but also someone who will be a good cultural fit for our fan owned and fan-led club, as we all seek to bring us success and get us back up the football league.

“It has been a speedy but very detailed recruitment process during which we with met several potential interested candidates, all of whom have managed at that level, but we instantly found with Jim that he is going to be a good fit with our club.

“He has managed over 400 games at this level and his values of honesty, transparency, work ethic and most importantly fighting spirit are the exact qualities all of us at Rochdale AFC have shown over the past year and want to show in every competitive fixture and in every team the club puts out. 

“We all need to get vociferously behind Jim and the team and look forward to climbing up the League Two table and competing in the remaining cup competitions, starting on Tuesday night away at League One's Accrington Stanley in the Papa John's trophy.” 

Bentley will bring an assistant manager to Rochdale with him who "will be announced in due course", said the club.

 

 

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