BEN­SON HEDGES

All bets are off as Rob­bie’s keen to keep op­tions open

Irish Daily Mirror - - SPORT - BY PAUL O’HEHIR

ROB­BIE BEN­SON is giv­ing no guar­an­tees he’ll be a Dun­dalk player next sea­son as he pushes to fin­ish this one with sil­ver­ware.

The Athlone brain­box put a ca­reer in ac­tu­ary on hold to pur­sue his full-time dream in foot­ball and has thrived at Oriel Park since leav­ing UCD al­most two years ago. But out-of-con­tract at the end of the sea­son, Ben­son ad­mits he would love to fol­low in the foot­steps of his old team-mates Daryl Hor­gan and Andy Boyle by crack­ing it in Eng­land. Ahead of to­day’s EA Sports Cup fi­nal against Sham­rock Rovers, he said: “I’m no dif­fer­ent to any­one in the league. “If a big offer comes in from abroad, you are def­i­nitely go­ing to con­sider it. “I’m very happy with Dun­dalk the last cou­ple of sea­sons…. (but) I couldn’t sit here and say that if a big offer came in I wouldn’t at least con­sider it.” Asked if he has of­fers to leave Dun­dalk, Ben­son said: “Noth­ing con­crete as yet. I will only ever sign one-year deals in this league and weigh up my op­tions at the end of each year.” The 25-year-old ad­mits his fu­ture ca­reer in ac­tu­ary also comes into the equa­tion as he will have to start at the bot­tom of the lad­der as a trainee and sit more ex­ams. He doesn’t want to post­pone that for too long and ap­pre­ci­ates it would be ex­tremely dif­fi­cult com­bin­ing the stress of more study and a day job with full-time foot­ball de­mands. Lit­tle won­der he wants to cram as much as pos­si­ble into the here and now. Ben­son, who played un­der­age in­ter­na­tional foot­ball with Ire­land stars Rob­bie Brady and Jeff Hen­drick, said: “When I was younger, I prob­a­bly strug­gled a bit con­fi­dence-wise. “I didn’t even think I would play full-time in the League of Ire­land. I thought that I’d have played part-time in the league and worked along­side it. But you ma­ture as a per­son and I de­cided to take a chance. “The turn­ing point prob­a­bly came when we played in Europe with UCD. I played quite well against some top play­ers. “If I was do­ing that part-time, there was no rea­son that I couldn’t im­prove fur­ther and I think I have over the last cou­ple of years. Hope­fully I can keep do­ing that.” This sea­son has not panned out how Dun­dalk would have hoped but they still have the chance to win two tro­phies and Ben­son feels they are back to their swag­ger­ing best in re­cent weeks. He said: “It’s the time you want to be play­ing your best stuff, which we are – it’s just a pity that it got away from us at the start of the year. “But you only get a chance to play in two fi­nals each year so we’re go­ing to be ready for it.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Ireland

© PressReader. All rights reserved.