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'Extra special' for local lad Bentley

5 April 2013

Goalkeeper who grew up just 20 minutes from Roots Hall can't wait for the final

Local lad Daniel Bentley says Sunday’s Johnstone’s Paint Trophy final is extra special for him having grown up just twenty minutes away.

Bentley came through the Blues youth ranks and has certainly played his part in the run to Wembley; saving Alfie Potter’s penalty in the Area semi-final against Oxford United.

Basildon-born Dan, started at the club when he was just 15-years-old and says it will be a proud day for him.

He said: “It means a lot. It’s the first time we’ve gone to Wembley and it’ll certainly be a proud day for not just myself but all the fans.  

“A year ago I was a scholar at the club and now I have the chance to play at Wembley. It’s quite mad, really!”

“The game against Oxford in the earlier rounds was a great evening to be involved with.

“We want more of the same and to win at Wembley would be unbelievable.

“It’s going to be an amazing day out for everyone connected throughout the club.

“I live 20 minutes away and it’s my local club.  I’m a fan as much as a player so the day is going to be that little bit extra special for me.  

“It means a lot to all the lads but being a local lad, it’s exciting to see the club heading to Wembley.”

The 19-year-old insists that the possibility of playing in such a high-pressure game will not faze him.

“I’d say that I’m nervous but definitely not worried,” said Dan.  “I’m not bothered whether I drop a clanger or I make a number of great saves.  As long as we win, I don’t care what my performance was like.

“It would mean the world to me to win a Wembley final with Southend United.
“If I do play a part in the game, I will go out there and do my best for the supporters.  It’ll be one of the best days of my career so far.”

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