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Southend United's Daniel Bentley eager to prove his worth
SOUTHEND United goalkeeper Daniel Bentley wants to stake his claim for a regular starting slot by impressing during pre-season.
Blues are currently without a senior goalkeeper having not signed yet a replacement for Glenn Morris who was released at the end of the previous campaign.
But Bentley, who turns 19 tomorrow, is out to show he can be relied upon between the sticks.
“I felt ready to step in last season but I now I feel even better prepared to move up in to the first team,” said the Basildon born Bentley.
“I’ve worked hard during the summer and I’m now out to show the gaffer and the fans plus anyone else who has doubted me that I’m ready to make the step up.
“As things stands I’m the most senior goalkeeper at the club and hopefully I will get the chance to play in some of the friendlies we have coming up.”
Blues begin their pre-season schedule by hosting Premier League newcomers West Ham United at Roots Hall on Saturday.
Paul Sturrock’s side then travel to Essex Olympian side Stambridge United on Monday before visiting Essex Senior League outfit Great Wakering Rovers 48 hours later.
And Bentley cannot wait to get back in action.
“I’m ready to play but if the manager gives someone else a go then I’ll just carry on working hard and wait for my next opportunity,” said Bentley.
“I’m sure everyone will get a go at some stage during pre-season so it’s up to me to make sure I take the opportunity I get because this is a big year for me and I’m desperate to do well.”
Bentley, who is a former Bromfords School pupil and still lives in Wickford, spent seven years with Arsenal before teaming up with Blues three seasons ago.
Since then he has worked his way up through the ranks to earn a professional deal and made his first team debut coming off the bench against Torquay United.
“It was good to make my debut but now I want to try and get more games and to do that I have to do well in pre-season,” added Bentley.
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