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Town Youngster Signs Up

By: Rob Sedgwick
Date: 10/03/2007

TEENAGE defender Ryan Bennett is the latest of Town's promising crop of youngsters to sign a professional contract with the Mariners. The 17-year-old centre back is the fourth youth player this season to make the step up to first team football, and several others could follow.

The classy defender from Great Yarmouth has impressed Town boss Alan Buckley and with Justin Whittle possibly retiring at the end of the season, Bennett has the chance to push for a first team place at the start of next season, when Grimsby are almost certain to be playing league football following today's win at Hereford.

Bennett, who is said to be comfortable on the ball and strong in the air, was released by Ipswich last year, but Town Youth Team coach Neil Woods was tipped off and snapped up the teenager before other clubs were alerted. Now that decision has been rewarded with a two-year contract for the six footer.

"He always listens and works hard and both Alan (Buckley) and Stuart (Watkiss) are good with him", Neil Woods told Mariners Net.

"His consistent performances at Youth and Reserve level earned him a first team squad number. He even travelled with the team to Torquay and if Nick Fenton hadn't passed a late fitness test I am sure Alan would have had no qualms about putting him on the bench."

Peter Bore, Andy Taylor and Danny North have already stepped up from Youth football to the first team this season, and all three have signed professional papers already this season. Last season the Youth Team won a major cup competition, and have reached two semi finals already this year.

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