Dunfermline Press

Kyle eyes coaching badges but is ‘fully focused’ on playing role

- Rhart@dunfermlin­epress.co.uk


KYLE BENEDICTUS has revealed that he is aiming to attain coaching qualificat­ions during the next two-and-a-half years after signing a new contract with Athletic.

The 31-year-old, however, says that his full focus remains on playing as he plots to continue to help his team move in an upward trajectory following last season’s League One success.

Pars skipper Benedictus, who joined from Raith Rovers last summer, put pen to paper on a contract extension last week that will keep him at KDM Group East End Park until the summer of 2026.

The influentia­l centre back’s existing deal had been due to expire at the end of the season, but he has followed forward, Lewis McCann, in agreeing terms to continue his stay with the club.

“A lot of the loan boys from last year were signed on deals, obviously Lewis has just signed his deal, so there’s a gel of the squad that we’ve got,” he said.

“I think it’s important, and I’ve spoken about it before, how good the team spirit is. The boys that came here in the summer have added to that, and I think there’s a right good group we’ve got here.”

Benedictus has been an important influence in the dressing room, and has been described as

“a fantastic leader” by Pars boss James McPake.

Speaking on the impact he has on his team-mates, and the younger players in the squad in particular, Benedictus said: “I like to think, being captain, that any of the boys, old or young, can come and speak to me if they need anything. I like to help the younger ones as much as I can. That’s one of the things I like to do.

“I’m in the process of getting my badges done, I’ll be looking to do that within the two years, but obviously my main focus is still playing. It’s something I’m just going to try and see how I get on.

“It is something that, looking at later on in your career, you don’t know what could happen. I’m going to give it a go and see where it can take me.”

Uppermost in Benedictus’ mind currently, though, is recovering from a broken metatarsal picked up during last month’s draw at Inverness Caledonian Thistle, and he’s making good progress.

However, this weekend’s derby day trip to former club, Raith Rovers, could come too soon for Benedictus, who continued: “Obviously, there’s some good days, some days it’s quite sore, but I’m doing alright and I’m hoping to be back sooner rather than later.

“I’ve seen the manager and the club saying the physio needs to hold me back. I hate being injured; I’ve probably been a pain in the backside for the physio because

I’m no good when I’m on the treatment table, but it needs to be done.

“I don’t want to be too over enthusiast­ic to try and come back, then something happens when I come back, and I’m out for weeks again.

“I’m trying to manage it as best as possible, but it’s going good just now, and I feel good.”

Despite Saturday’s reverse to Ayr United, seventh-placed Dunfermlin­e are just two points outside the top four.

A win in Kirkcaldy on Saturday would take them to within three of their second-top neighbours, and Benedictus believes every team in the league will have high hopes for a good campaign.

“You look at the league last year, it went all the way to the end of the season, and I can’t imagine it’s going to be any different this year, for all the positions,” he said. “It’s such a competitiv­e league, we’re just happy to be in it and we’ll see where we can go.

“I think every team we’ve played against will know they’re in a game, so that has to give us confidence. Even last year, when we played in the cup games against teams in the higher league, we more than matched them, and it’s been no different since the start of this season.

“It’s like that every week, not just our fixtures. You look at all the fixtures, they’re all competitiv­e, and it’s just who can come out the other end of it.”

 ?? ?? Kyle Benedictus, pictured against this weekend’s opponents, Raith Rovers, earlier this season, is recovering from injury. Image: Craig Brown.
Kyle Benedictus, pictured against this weekend’s opponents, Raith Rovers, earlier this season, is recovering from injury. Image: Craig Brown.

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