After a successful 2017/2018 with the Independent Schools Football Association (ISFA), we caught up with TNS’ star youngster, as we not only look back but also ahead to the future as well.
TNS: First of all, Ben, it has been a very good season with ISFA.
Ben: Yes, it has been an unbelievable season playing with ISFA. It’s also been a successful one being the first ISFA team to be undefeated in a season.
TNS: Of course, it has to be about more than just results on the pitch. How has the whole experience gone for you personally?
Ben: I have really enjoyed the overall experience as I’ve gone to places where I never thought football would take me, such as St. George’s Park and the Belgian National Centre.
TNS: It was a great end to the season as you were in Belgium (lead photograph) recently? Tell us about that.
Ben: Yes, we went to Belgium for four days and played against two top U19 sides, KAA Gent and AFC Tubize, winning 3-2 and drawing 3-3. The tour was highly enjoyable.
TNS: A regular throughout the season, you also featured in the two games in Belgium. As we all know, confidence plays a big part in football and knowing you’re an integral part of the set-up must be good for your own personal mental approach to games?
Ben: Definitely! Confidence improves the way I play and in the ISFA set-up being a big part of the team makes me more motivated to do well.
TNS: Back to The New Saints, how does the confidence perspective from your time with ISFA benefit your Park Hall involvement?
Ben: It benefits as I’m playing every game for ISFA, so it helps my fitness. Also, doing well in the games helps my confidence when coming into the environment playing with men not teens.
TNS: What fans of The New Saints want to hear, what are your hopes and aspirations for 2018/2019?
Ben: Next year I’m hoping to keep improving as a footballer and hopefully get more game time to experience playing at a top level against good players. Then hopefully push on to play at the top level in the future.
TNS: Ben, thank you for your time. Whether on ISFA international duty with England or domestically with The New Saints, everyone at Park Hall wishes you the very best.