Date: 27th July 2017 at 11:51am
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Perhaps the biggest news to emerge from the Globe Arena during the closed season was the re-signing of manager Jim Bentley`s former team-mate Garry Thompson from Wycombe Wanderers.
Since he left the club nine years ago, 36 year old Thommo has clocked-up an astonishing 700 league games for clubs such as Bradford City and Scunthorpe United and scored several memorable goals – against Arsenal for Bradford and against Spurs just last season for Wycombe for instance – to add to the equaliser he got for the Shrimps in the Conference play-off final against Exeter City to help the club into the League ten years ago. Mr Bentley has also secured the services of several long-standing stalwarts such as Kevin Ellison, Andy Fleming and Barry Roche, although the latter suffered an injury to his left knee prior to a friendly against Lancaster City a couple of weeks ago. The knee was operated on a couple of days later but the huge Irishman will be out of action for at least the next month: reserve goalkeeper Australian international Danijel Nizic would appear to be a very capable understudy on form so far however.

New summer signings also include former York City striker Vadaine Oliver; ex-Newcastle United forward Adam Campbell and left-sided midfielder or defender Patrick Brough, who has been released by Carlisle United after being on loan to various non-league clubs in recent times. Additionally, right-back Mitchell Lund has signed on-loan from Doncaster Rovers. It is to be hoped that Jim Bentley can help transform the careers of these players in the way he has with individuals such as Tom Barkhuizen in recent times. Additionally, a lot is expected from young Reece Deakin, the ex-Crystal Palace trainee who has graduated to the first team from Morecambe`s Liverpool-based Under 21 team and looks like he has the potential to score a lot of goals at League Two level.

On the down side, promising but inconsistent forward Paul Mullin has left the club to join Swindon Town on a two-year deal and – certainly more damaging to the team`s prospects this season – much-improved central defender Ryan Edwards has also been poached away by newly-promoted League One Plymouth Argyle after rejecting a new contract to keep him at the Globe Arena. He will be missed.

The pre-season warm-up matches revealed mixed results, with the inclusion of many triallists in the Morecambe sides making the results a poor guide to potential form in the new season. For the record, the Shrimps won at Bamber Bridge 1-2; beat neighbours Lancaster City 1-0 at the Globe and then lost the remaining fixtures 0-2 at home to Preston (Tom Barkhuizen opened the scoring with a typically sublime piece of finishing but had the grace not to celebrate it in front of his former supporters); 1-2 against Blackburn Rovers and then went down to rapidly improving and newly-promoted National League AFC Fylde at their impressive Mill Farm ground 2-1. The final warm-up game is at the Globe Arena next Saturday against Rochdale but the real test starts on August 5th, when Morecambe entertain Cheltenham Town in League Two.