Mark BentleyBoreham Wood are delighted to announce the signing of Mark Bentley from Blue Square Bet South rivals Hayes & Yeading United.

Bentley is a 6’2” 35-year-old midfielder who started his playing career with Enfield in August 1998, later moving to Aldershot Town, Gravesend & Northfleet (where he won Player of the Year in 2002–03) and Dagenham & Redbridge. On 15 January 2004, he stepped up to the Football League when he signed for Southend United, where he made 93 league appearances including 23 as a sub. He also scored 12 league goals including five in his last season at Roots Hall and was involved in two consecutive promotions.

He was offered a new one-year contract to stay at Southend, but opted to go for the security of a two-year deal at Gillingham, signing for them on 22 May 2006. Bentley made his debut in the 2–1 home win over Huddersfield Town on 5 August and scored his first goal away to Bradford City in a 4–2 defeat on 12 August. He was runner up in the club’s 2006–07 player of the year award behind Andrew Crofts and signed a two-year contract extension in September 2007.

After coming second in the Player of the Year awards for the 2009–10 season, Bentley signed a new one-year contract for new manager Andy Hessenthaler with a clause stating that if he played a certain number of games it would be extended for another season, taking him to the end of the 2011–12 season.

In March 2011, Bentley signed for Conference National club Cambridge United on a one-month loan from Gillingham.

On 11 May 2011, Bentley was released by Gillingham after serving five seasons with the club, after the club failed to gain promotion from League Two. He subsequently joined Hayes & Yeading United. Following Jamie Hand’s departure to Luton Town in early September, Bentley was appointed club captain. Last season Mark made 53 appearances for Hayes & Yeading United.

Wood Manager Ian Allinson said “We are delighted to sign Mark. He is a commanding midfielder, and will add the experience we lacked at times last season as we narrowly missed out on the play-offs. Mark joins us with a great pedigree, following a long career in the Football League and top level of Non-League football with sides like Aldershot Town, Southend, Cambridge United and Gillingham.”

Allinson concluded “Mark will join up with the squad at the start of pre-season, as we look to build for the 2013/2014 campaign with a prestigious pre-season friendly line up, including West Ham United, Luton Town, Arsenal XI, Brentford, Reading XI and Cambridge United visiting Meadow Park.”

Everyone at Boreham Wood welcomes Mark to Meadow Park, and hope that he can help us secure a top 10 finish in the 2013/2014 season.

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