Ten of the Best with Gerard Benfield

How good of a boxer are you really?

That’s a tough question!

I’m decent enough. I used to do it for fitness. I was into football, cricket and boxing growing up, although I had to choose only one in the end. Luckily, I went for football.

If you could go back in time to be ringside at any boxing match in history which one would it be?

I wouldn’t even have to go back in time too far. It would be the Tyson Fury vs Deontay Wilder fight, the one where Fury got knocked out. Everyone thought he was out, but he defied the odds to get back up and win.

It was such a big fight where no one knew who would win beforehand. I’m a Fury fan, and I have to say that’s the most worried I’ve been whilst watching him fight.

Aside from Weymouth, who would you manage in Football Manager?

I don’t usually play Football Manager. I’ll sometimes dabble in it before I end up getting bored. I like to be entertained.

But, if I had to pick it would be Southampton. I’m a Saints fan, and I used to be a season-ticket-holder. I would try and get them back in the Premier League!

Who would you pick as England’s number-one goalkeeper?

Well if it was up to me it would be Fraser Forster, because of the Southampton connections!

Him and Artur Boruc were role models for me growing up. But, if I had to choose out of keepers playing for England right now, I would probably say Nick Pope. Overall, he’s the best. At the moment he’s injured, but he was excellent for Newcastle last season. I would feel the most comfortable having him in goal.

Can you still do a backflip?

I don’t think I’ve ever done a backflip. You only have to look at me to know that I can’t do one, unless I’m on a trampoline!

Has someone started a backflip rumour about me? I’ll take that.

Former Terra Josh Wakefield asks,  “Rumour has it you can’t shoot under 100 around Bulbury Woods Golf Course but claim to be an eight handicap. Could you clear this up for us?”

All I will say is the facts don’t lie. At the moment, I am down to an eight handicap. Listen, Josh and I have played golf together a lot, and he’s often second-best. The less said about his golf, the better. I can definitely shoot under 100 at Bulbury. It sounds like Josh is trying to get a nibble at me. I’m better than him, so make sure you write that!

Jason Matthews is a Weymouth legend and a top coach. What motivates you to be like him?

You’ve only got to look at how many appearances he’s had in his career. Not just at Weymouth, but everywhere. He’s a legend in the non-league football world.

I’ve got a really good relationship with him. Whenever we play, he’s the first person to chat to me at halftime. He’s a big reason why I’ve been playing well this season. A really good guy.

How hard is it to keep a straight face when Jason talks!?

He’s a really funny guy. We have a good laugh about his Bristolian accent. Everyone will do his accent in the dressing room. It’s a bit of a running joke!

Where do you want to be in 10 years?

In footballing terms, I just want to be playing at the best level I can. I’ll be 36 then, so as long as I’m still playing that’s the goal. I’ll be very happy with that.

Have you always wanted to be a goalkeeper? If you haven’t already, is there another position on the pitch you’d love to play in?

I used to be a striker!

I played there until I was about 13 and I really enjoyed it. Not all of the goalies were tall then, so I could score lots of goals. I then started to play one half in goal and one upfront, before my old man said I couldn’t do that and had to pick one position!

As is with every goalkeeper, I saw myself as a striker, but anytime I have a go playing outfield now I realise how hard it is. I have to give a lot of credit to the boys that do it. I’m definitely happy that I chose to be a keeper. I don’t have to run around as much!

Interview by
Jack Webb

Similar Posts