FC Halifax Town: Benn itching to get back in the side after recovering from injury

You don't need to tell Jay Benn how cruel football can be.

By Tom Scargill
Thursday, 9th December 2021, 4:41 pm
Updated Thursday, 9th December 2021, 4:42 pm
Jay Benn. Photo: Marcus Branston
Jay Benn. Photo: Marcus Branston

The defender had seized his chance in the Town first-team with a terrific start to the season, looking completely at home at right-back.

But he then tore his hamstring in Town's 3-1 at home to Southend on September 11, and hasn't featured since, having only recently returned to fitness.

"I felt it straight away and I was waving my hand, I knew straight away it had gone," he said.

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"That's football, things hit you when you least expect them.

"It was bad timing, I was gutted obviously.

"It's my first season (in the first-team) and my first five games, I'd played well, but that's how it goes sometimes.

"It's what I'd dreamed about, getting my first start, to get that assist pretty early in the game (against Maidenhead) settled me in. It couldn't have gone much better really.

"Then it's all about confidence from then, going into your first away game, and starting, then your first TV appearance.

"I enjoyed every minute of it."

Benn added: "A million things run through your head when I went back in and sat on the physio bed, I was just scrambling in my head.

"But once you get past that initial stage, you've got to just switch your mentality and go 'right, look, it's happened, I've got to just put my head down and get back as quickly as I can'.

"But everything seems to have gone to plan and I'm feeling good.

"I'm back in full training now, back fit."

The reason Benn is unlikely to enjoy an imminent return to the right-back berth is the form of team-mate Tyrell Warren, who has performed consistently well in the role since replacing Benn.

"That's what happens, he's taken his chance so fair play to him," Benn said.

"He's a top lad, he's a great player and he's played unbelievable, so fair play to him.

"I've got to make sure I can challenge for that shirt.

"Ty's set his stall out, and I've got to try and persuade the gaffer that I can be part of the team.

"That's the way football goes, it might take a bit longer, but that's fair play to Ty because he's done unbelievable."

Benn has been impressed watching Warren and the rest of the Town team from the stands since his injury.

"Obviously the game against Kidderminster was a dip, but the boys have been flying," he said.

"Watching the Notts County game from the sidelines, it was gutting not to be involved because it was an unbelievable game.

"The lads are flying, it's great to watch, we're playing some great football.

"You're just sitting on the side itching to get back on the pitch."

Benn says he is not surprised by how well Town have done this season.

"Every year we've been improving," he said.

"I've been around it each year, the gaffer knows his game-plan, knows what needs to happen.

"It doesn't surprise me at all. The players that came in are top lads, great players and I think it just reflects how good a job the gaffer's doing, how good the players are playing."

And Benn is confident The Shaymen can maintain their strong form.

"We can challenge, we're up there with the big teams that are throwing money at it," he said.

"It's all about a good dressing room, and with the lads we've got, there's no reason why we can't keep pushing."