Time is on Bentley's side: 'I didn't have the right to be on the first team bench last season'

21 May 2010 11:31
Blues keeper Daniel Bentley stepped up to the reserves and the first team subs bench on many occasions last season, and remains one member of the squad certainly looking forward to the future as a Shrimper. Daniel Bentley: 'My ultimate aim is to earn a professional contract'16-year-old shot stopper Daniel Bentley saw plenty of action as the Blues No.2 last season, and even warming the bench for the first team, after injuries to former keepers Ian Joyce and Kelvin Jack at various stages of the season forced Daniel to step up faster than envisaged. Only a first-year scholar last August the young keeper would have been looking forward to playing in Ricky Duncan's successful Under-18s, however he's enjoyed the promotion and looks upon it as an important stepping stone to being a professional footballer, hopefully at Roots Hall.Daniel told Blues Insider: "I didn't have the right to be on the first team bench last season, but it was a necessity at the time. It was also a real experience and good for future reference. I have never been in that sort of environment before, but it was great to learn and find out what it is all about. I had also been training with the goalkeeping coach Lee Turner and Steve Mildenhall and that has been another great experience for me."Certainly he's appreciated the support they've given him and the fact nobody tried to rush the teenager, and eventually he felt more comfortable around the first team. Daniel has learnt a lot and believes he's not only developed as a goalkeeper but as a person.However, he wanted to comment on the differences between the 'massive' step up from youth team to reserves, (well he doesn't have to worry about that so much as Blues Two's are not playing in a league next season!), and accepted he was 'lucky to be playing so much'. What's important to Daniel now is getting that first professional with the club.Daniel concluded: "I'm only 16, so I have time on my side. I've been lucky to have played the amount of reserve games that I have for my age as a first-year scholar. Next season is a big year for me. The first year was all about settling in and trying to improve, but the second year is about perfecting what you have got and trying to earn a professional contract. I've got to get another pre-season under my belt and then we'll take it from there."Sounds a very level headed young man, a credit to the club and his parents, good luck next season Daniel.