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Benson Back With A Bang

First-team taste pays off as midfielder helps U23s win on return

28 July 2019

Josh Benson enjoyed a winning return to Under-23 duty following a pre-season spent pressing his case with the first-team squad.

Benson has been involved in the senior set-up since Sean Dyche’s men reported back at the start of July – travelling to Portugal for a week-long training camp and figuring in each of the first-team friendlies.

That followed an impressive first full season as a Claret in 2018/19 when the former Arsenal youngster was a mainstay of the U23s’ midfield and made it as far as the bench for Burnley’s Premier League game at Manchester United in January.

But Benson was back with Steve Stone’s side at Cheltenham on Saturday to bolster the U23 ranks for a test against Michael Duff’s League Two Robins.

Josh Benson interception.jpg

And the 19-year-old played a big part in a commanding second-half performance to help secure a 3-2 win and continue his good summer’s work.

“It’s been a good experience with the first team and I’ve learned a lot of every day,” said Benson.

“The intensity is high and you’re working hard alongside top-class players.

“Playing each game with them gives you more experience and more confidence and then you can start to use what you learn with the first team with the Under-23s.

“That put a bit more pressure on, but also gave me a bit more confidence as well.


“It was a tough game against a good side with experience players. But I thought we ground it out well to get the win and played some nice football as well.

“It should give us a lot of confidence to know that we’re at that level and to push on from there.”

EFL football may now be an option for Benson, with the Clarets keen to loan out some of their young players to broaden their education and test them at a new level.

And the Essex-born midfield man – who spend a decade on the books at Arsenal – is open to all possibilities as he looks to build on the bright start he has made at Turf Moor.

“It’s gone really well, and I’ve just got to keep improving and making that step up,” he added.

“I want to keep improving every day and keep pushing and hopefully play some first-team football.”

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