Lead Academy Goalkeeping Coach talks to htafc.com
The hours are longer and the paperwork is already mounting, but Huddersfield Town’s new Lead Academy Goalkeeping Coach Ian Bennett is already enjoying his new role at the Club.
The 42 year-old hung up his gloves in the summer to take up a coaching in the role in the Club’s Academy and whilst his former teammates were completing the pre-season yo-yo tests, he was busy working with the Terriers’ young stoppers.
“It has been a tough couple of days, but I have enjoyed it – despite the hours being a little bit longer! I am back in the real world now,” Bennett said.
Having made over 500 appearances and endured numerous pre-seasons, Bennett felt that the time was right to start a new chapter.
“I still wanted to play, but it wasn’t the hardest decision that I have ever had to make,” he said. “I hadn’t played many games over the last couple of years and the majority of my time had been spent helping Alex (Smithies). My decision wasn’t a sudden one; it was more of a gradual progress and moving into coaching was the next step.
“Having been a player for the past four seasons at the Club, it has made the transition into the role seamless. I know the players and the staff and it is good to still be around.”
Bennett’s ambition to be a success as a coach is clear, with Ian already talking about how he can develop further just two days into the job!
“It’s a role that I am really looking forward to doing. At the moment I am just assessing what types of ‘keepers I will be working with across the different age groups; the quality so far has been impressive.”
“I completed my A Licence during the summer, but I still have some youth coaching qualifications to do and there is also UEFA Goalkeeping A Licence coming out in the next few years, which is something I will look at.”
Bennett’s job now is to work with Head of Goalkeeping Nick Colgan to develop Town’s young goalkeepers.
“If we can produce another Alex Smithies then Nick and I will have done a good job. Hopefully I can get my teeth into the job and help continue the upward path that the Academy is currently on.”
And in terms of their relationship, Benno knows who the boss is:
“What Nick says goes! We already have a good relationship having played alongside each other and I believe that we will get on great. We want to provide the best possible goalkeeper coaching at professional and Academy level and will work as a team to do that.”