Former TCAT student makes professional football debutPublished: August 17, 2017
A former member of the Telford College of Arts and Technology sports academy has made his
debut for Championship football team Sheffield United.
Jake Bennett, from Aqueduct, played for almost an hour of the team’s 3-2 Carabao Cup victory over Walsall.
The 21-year-old studied public uniformed services at TCAT as well as being a member of the college’s sports academy. He is the cousin of current football league stars Elliott and Kyle Bennett.
Jake joined the Championship side from Evo-Stik Northern Premier club Mickleover Sports at the end of December.
“I was at Telford for around a year and a half to two years. Then I went to Market Drayton and Mickleover after that,” he told the Shropshire Star.
“I did well at Mickleover and a few clubs were interested. When Sheffield United offered me a contract, I could not turn that down.
“I am looking to see what happens this year and hopefully get a few more chances. I am hoping, if not this year, I’ll get a chance next year.
“Sheffield United is a massive club, they were in the Premier League before and it would be great to be there again.”
Jake was given a run in the Telford team in 2013, when John Psaras was in interim charge.
He moved on to Market Drayton soon after Liam Watson took over at the New Bucks Head though, showing good signs there before flourishing at Derbyshire club Mickleover.
Jake feels the rough and tumble of non-league did him the world of good, and said: “I was at Wolves from the age of seven up until I was 14, then I played Sunday football for a bit and then went into non-league.
“Being in non-league helped me, when I was 16 I was playing men’s football and got four years of it under my belt. That puts me in a good position.
Jake said he hopes to emulate cousins Elliot and Kyle – the former featuring in the Premier League for Norwich City before moving on to Blackburn Rovers, while the latter recently penned a new three-year contract at Portsmouth.
Elliott took to Twitter to congratulate his cousin on his Blades bow, posting: “Buzzing for my cousin @Jakebenno96 making his @SUFC_tweets debut tonight. Worked so hard to get to this day. Enjoy it.”
Jake told the Star: “Hopefully I can do well like them. Elliot has played in the Premier League and Kyle could still make it there. I have just got to keep working hard.”
He added: “I am just looking to get more appearances and game time, building my experience. I was nervous at the start of my debut, because you are looking to impress, but you get calmer with more experience.”
CAPTION: Jake Bennett in action. Photo courtesy of the Shropshire Star