Fri, May

Under-17 footballer Benny eyes pro contract in Europe.

NATIONAL Under-17 footballer Che Benny has his eyes set on a professional contract in Europe and playing for the Trinidad and Tobago men’s team, following his experience at Manchester United recently.

Benny, along with 13-year-old Antiguan Ronaldo Flowers, were chosen to go to Manchester United after reaching the final round of the Flow Ultimate Football Experience, held in Trinidad earlier this month. The football clinic was hosted by Flow and Manchester United. Benny and Flowers were the stand-out performers in the clinic which included youngsters from throughout the Caribbean. 

Speaking to Newsday yesterday following his trip, the 16-year-old Benny said he is hoping to return to England in July, and travel to Holland in an effort to get a professional contract. Benny said, “The goal is to go back out there and see if a professional team can see me, and eventually sign a contract.” Benny said that Wigan Athletic is one of the clubs that has expressed interest in him. 

The Form Four St Anthony’s College student is also hoping for a men’s team call up at 17 years old. 

“My goal for myself is to make the senior team, and show the country that there is an upcoming Che Benny.” Benny and Flowers attended a Premier League match between Manchester United and Crystal Palace last Sunday. Benny said it was the most memorable part of the trip.

“The best moment of the experience at Manchester United was looking at the game between Manchester United and Crystal Palace. Getting to see players like Paul Pogba and Juan Mata, it was excellent. I did not get the chance to meet any of the current players, but I did get the chance to meet one or two old players.” Former Manchester United player Bryan Robson, who represented the club from 1981 to 1994, gave Benny some words of encouragement. 

“He spoke to me about always believing in yourself, and if you believe in yourself no one can stop you from reaching your goal.” Benny said he adapted to the cold weather in England quickly. 

“The first two days the weather was pretty cold, but then I started to cope with it after.” The diminutive player said he admires the professionalism in England leading up to a match. “Going to England I saw the professionalism. 

Everything is prepared before games. For example, when I went to the dressing room the day before the game, the gears were already hanging up in their locker rooms.”