AJ not the man to fill Redshaw boots

Jim Bentley is on the lookout for an experienced striker (photo: Matt Rushton)

Jim Bentley is on the lookout for an experienced striker (photo: Matt Rushton)

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Morecambe boss Jim Bentley has revealed the identity of the striker he missed out on.

Former Yeovil and Crewe front man AJ Leitch-Smith turned down a move to the Shrimps, instead putting pen to paper with League One Port Vale. Bentley is on the hunt for a forward to fill the void left by Jack Redshaw’s move to 
Blackpool.

The Shrimps boss said: “It’s a little bit frustrating.

“We offered AJ Leitch-Smith a deal and had a good chat with him but he’s opted to stay in League One with a club near to where he lives in Port Vale.

“He’d recently been released by Yeovil and we were unlucky there.

“There are one or two other targets.

“A few forwards are still on trial at other clubs and I’m confident that we will get 
one in and we’re doing all we can to make sure it’s the right one.”

Bentley wants someone with experience of League Two and preferably, League One, with Paul Mullin and first year professional Jack Kelleher the only out-and-out strikers on the books.

He said: “Someone who’s got a little bit of experience at this level and even the level above would be ideal.

“But they are hard to come by. Everyone wants a forward, everyone wants a 15 or 
20-goal-a-season man and they are out there but people are snapping them up.

“There were a couple of targets I would have taken to replace Jack earlier in the summer but the timing meant they’d already moved on.

“It’s a little bit unfortunate but there are still players out there and we want to get the right one, not just sign one for the sake of it.”

Meanwhile, Shrimps defender Adam Dugdale is touch and go for the start of the season after picking up a freak injury in training.

The new signing came 
down heavily on his ankle, with the problem feared to be one that could rule him out for months.

But Bentley hopes the former Crewe and Tranmere man will only be unavailable for a week or two, following a positive scan.

Bentley said: “It was a bit of a freak accident in training.

“Kevin Ellison smashed a shot and it hit a defender and rebounded into him as he was jumping and it knocked him off balance and he came down and turned his ankle.

“The results back from the scan are quite positive.

“We expect that he’s only going to be out for two, maybe three, weeks.

“We were worried that he’d ruptured his ankle and it was going to be a one or two month job but thankfully that’s not the case.”