Jim’s playing for keeps over Barry

Barrie Roche

Barrie Roche

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Jim Bentley is hopeful long-serving goalkeeper Barry Roche will commit his future to Morecambe.

The Shrimps No.1, who has played more than 250 games for the club, is out of contract this summer but Bentley is keen to keep hold of the popular Irishman.

“We’ve had discussions over the last couple of months and he’s an unbelievable professional who’s coming into his prime as a goalkeeper,” Bentley said.

“I’m desperate to keep 
him.

“I respect him, he works hard and has lost a lot of weight in the three years that I’ve been the manager and I think that’s enhanced his performances.

“He’s a crowd favourite and he’s definitely one of the players we’re working hard to keep.”

The Shrimps boss, who saw his team defeat AFC Wimbledon 3-0 last weekend to secure their Football League status on the penultimate weekend of the season, is also keen to keep on-loan winger Jamie Devitt at the club.

The 24-year-old will not feature in Morecambe’s last game of the season tomorrow at home to Bury as his 93-day loan ended last weekend.

However, he has made a positive impression at the Globe Arena and Bentley will explore the possibility of signing him permanently from Chesterfield.

He said: “Devitt’s done well for us. I thought his first game was great and then it was an excellent performance against Newport, where he scored a penalty and got two assists.

“He’s a good player around the place. I can’t say what I feel too much because he’s Chesterfield’s player and I don’t know what they want to do.

“He might be involved this Saturday for them. Unfortunately he won’t be playing for us because of the 93-day loan rule which ended after the Wimbledon game.

“We’ll have to wait and see if Chesterfield offer him something or whether they’re going to release him.

“He’s definitely a player we’d be interested in because we’ve had a look at him he’s had a look at us.

“He’s a good character and affected the team.”

Bentley says his men can play with freedom tomorrow as they take on David Flitcroft’s Shakers.

“You can relax a little bit after we made ourselves safe on Saturday.

“But all eyes are on Bury now. We want to win the game and try and finish as high as we can.

“They’re a good side, I know Dave Flitcroft who’s gone in there. He’s got experience at Championship level and has picked them up because there was a lot of doom and gloom around the place.

“We expect a difficult game but we’re at home and want to finish on a positive in front of our own fans.”