We caught up with the City midfielderWe caught up with City midfielder Scot Bennett recently to ask a few questions about the upcoming season after the youth product cemented his place in the side during pre-season.
ECFC: Having talked to you this time last year about breaking into the team, you managed it, and what a first season it was for you.
SB: Yes, it turned out alright in the end, after I’d struggled at the beginning of the season to get into the team with the likes of Nobes (David Noble) doing well. Eventually I got my chance and I managed to take it, and it turned out to be a very good season up until my injury.
ECFC: Does your experience serve as a lesson to other young players, in that if you get a chance in the team then it is possible to establish yourself?
SB: Yes, definitely, that’s what you’ve got to aim for; when you get a chance you have to take it. Tis is a fair guy and if you take your chance he’ll keep you in there.
ECFC: Despite last year’s relegation, there now seems to be a positive atmosphere around the place and a feeling that we can do better this time around. Do you agree?
SB: Definitely, I think we’ve brought in some very good players and if anything we’ve strengthened the squad. We’ve brought in some very talented players and hopefully we can bounce straight back, either automatically or through the play-offs, and that is what we’re aiming for.
ECFC: With your position in midfield, you’ve been able to learn from the best, the likes of David Noble and now Tommy Doherty and Matt Oakley, all experienced professionals. Surely it can only be a help to work with those players?
SB: Spot on, I couldn’t really have asked for much more. They’ve all had experience either internationally or in the Premier League, and they’re very good with me, helping me out when they think I need it and talking to me if I stray out of position. It can only be a good thing for me to be learning from the best.
ECFC: We’ve heard that you’ve been coming in regularly over the summer, joining in with things like the under 18 training sessions just to keep ticking over. You must be hoping this pays dividends over the season?
SB: I thought I needed it after my injury, I didn’t really feel fit enough in my two games at the end of the season after the injury so I thought this summer I needed to work hard in order to hit the ground running when the season starts. I’m feeling fit now so hopefully it will pay off in the long run.
ECFC: Last season saw you in a central midfield role, but against Southampton this pre-season you played at centre back. Would you feel comfortable stepping in at centre back were Danny Coles or Pat Baldwin to get injured?
SB: Yes, it’s a position I am comfortable with having played there for four years before I got my chance in the midfield. Tis told me before the Southampton game that I’d be switching at half-time to keep my mind fresh in case there was an injury, I am another option if required.
ECFC: Last season saw you notch three goals, do you think you can chip in with a few more this season from midfield?
SB: I’d like to think so, I played in an attacking role as a youngster so getting forward is always something I try to do. I don’t get many chances to get forward as a defensive midfielder, but I want to chip in with a few goals if I get the chance, for example from corners.
ECFC: As well as the older players that have been brought in, do you think this campaign will be a big one for the youngsters in the squad?
SB: Definitely, we’ve got the likes of Tom Nichols and Elliott Frear in the squad, all the youngsters are very good players and bring different strengths to the squad. We’ve also seen Jordan Moore-Taylor playing and he’s looking very good, so he may well get the chance to fill in this season. It’s all looking positive, with the younger lads pushing the older pros, and it’s all friendly competition within the squad.