INTERVIEW: Proud to have been part of it

Academy coach Ben Benson moves on to take up new position at Blackburn

Academy coach Ben Benson leaves United to take up a coaching position with the Blackburn Rovers Academy at the end of this month, bringing to an end an eight-year association with the club.

We caught up with him as he prepares to make the move to link-up with former-boss Eric Kinder at Ewood Park.

“It feels like only yesterday that I started with the club,” he admitted. “My eight years have flown by and to have had that amount of time working in various roles at my home town club is very humbling, and will last long in my memory. 

“Initially I started in the academy as goalkeeping coach and that led to me going full time with the Football in the Community lads. I then crossed over to the Academy as Head of Goalkeeping and as the Foundation Phase lead coach. I would like to go on record with thanks to Academy Manager Alan Moore for putting faith in me to do the two jobs.”

“The Blackburn role came out of the blue for me,” he explained. “When Eric Kinder approached the club for permission to speak to me I was very surprised, to say the least.

“It wasn’t an easy decision for me to make as I really do enjoy the challenges I’ve faced with Carlisle. More importantly, I enjoy working with the people I work with. However, having thought about it, I feel this is the best time for me personally to move onto a new challenge at a new club.

“I’m very proud of what we’ve achieved through my time at the club. My highlights are having seen three keepers gain international recognition, and seeing and being part of the setting up of Development Centres across the County. 

“In addition to this I am very proud to have been part of the Foundation Phase age groups in the Academy, and I hope we have put systems in place to help the club flourish over the next five years and beyond.”

“It goes without saying I owe a great deal of thanks to many people for the opportunity I was given to work for Carlisle United,” he told us. “I would like to thank Alan Moore, Vince Overson, Tony Caig and David Wilkes for the help and advice they’ve given me. 

“I would also like to thank all of the Community Sports Trust staff, the office staff and everyone in the Academy – in particular Foundation Phase coaches Mark Birch, Dave Temple, Steven Rudd, Gavin Butler, Jonny Blake and Nick Wharton. 

“Finally I would like to wish all connected with the football club the very best of luck next season and for what I hope will be a successful future.”
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