Talented Athlone native Benson extends St Pat’s contract

Athlone native, Robbie Benson, has extended his current contract with St Patrick’s Athletic for the forthcoming 2021 season. Photo by Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

Athlone native, Robbie Benson, has extended his current contract with St Patrick’s Athletic for the forthcoming 2021 season. Photo by Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

Athlone native, Robbie Benson, burst onto the League of Ireland scene as a teenager and since then has enjoyed a glittering career in the top flight.

After starting with his hometown club, Benson then moved to UCD before Dundalk came calling. A trophy laden spell was enjoyed at Oriel Park before a move at the beginning of 2020 to St Patricks Athletic. Benson has now renewed his contract with the Saints and is looking forward to the action resuming, hopefully in March.

A brilliant academic at the Marist College, Benson was bound to succeed on and off the pitch. His early skills were learned at St Francis where his undoubted talent soon led to Athlone Town signing up the youngster.

While still studying for his Leaving Certificate, Benson made his debut away to Waterford in 2008. The following two seasons were also spent in the Midlands where he was one of the stars in a team struggling in the First Division.

A scholarship was earned to UCD, becoming a mainstay of the side in 2012. Appointed captain in 2014, his performances soon brought him to the attention of a number of big clubs in the Premier Division. A move to full time football followed at the end of 2015 when then manager Stephen Kenny secured his signature for Dundalk. After a slow start, Benson gradually hit top form with some fine goals both at home and in European action. Considerable interest was now been shown in him by English and Scottish clubs but Benson opted to continue with the Lilywhites in 2017.

League and cup medals were secured while at Dundalk but the next move took Benson back to Dublin in 2019. Former Lilywhite, Stephen O’Donnell, was not long into his first managerial role with St Pats and was delighted to secure the services of his former team mate. Benson played in all but two of the league games last season scoring two goals. It was a mixed year for the Inchicore outfit as they finished just two points away from the promotion/relegation position. However, in a tight division, where just seven points separated seven teams, the Saints were also just four points away from a European spot.

The new year dawned with the news that Benson and team mate Lee Desmond had both renewed their contacts ahead of the 2021 campaign. The Athlone man was naturally happy to get the deal done and remain at the club. The delay in action resuming proved frustrating though.

“We are usually due to be back training and going into pre-season but with the season now being pushed back its frustrating. Myself and the lads have been doing a bit of training in the off season so now we have to reschedule our plans,” Benson commented in recent times.

Manager O’Donnell was also delighted to secure his services for another year, looking forward to Benson linking up again in midfield with Chris Forrester and Jamie Lennon. A real consistent season is expected from a player reaching his peak.

 

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