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Experienced Benstead Joins Frimley Green

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Cherry Red Records Combined Counties League Division One club Frimley Green have welcomed the vastly experienced Graham Benstead as goalkeeper coach.

Now 53, Benstead has a wealth of experience in the game as a former professional with over 200 appearances in the Football League.

He began his career with Wimbledon, before signing for Queens Park Rangers in 1982.

Although he only made one first-team appearance, he also won an England cap at youth level.

In March 1985, he moved to Norwich City, where he became understudy to Chris Woods and later Bryan Gunn.

First-team appearances were again limited, although after Woods departure, he went on to play nineteen games for the Canaries, mainly at the start of the 1986/87 season, but the arrival of Gunn push him onto the bench again.

He had loan spells with Sheffield United and Colchester United, but left in July 1988, and joined Sheffield United on a permanent basis.

He played forty-seven games for the Blades before moving to Brentford in the summer of 1990, making some 110 appearances for the Bees in three seasons.

He dropped down to the non-League scene, joining Kettering Town, and he then signed for the sadly now defunct Rushden & Diamonds in June 1995.

He made several England C appearances while with Kettering and Diamonds and was a key player in Diamonds push to reach the Conference.

After a poor start to life in the Conference the following season, however, he made way for Martin Davies and was released in May 1997.

Initially, he joined Kingstonian for the start of the 1997/98 season, but an offer to become player-coach at Brentford saw him return to League action again when he was drafted in to make another two appearances in October 1997 due to an injury to Kevin Dearden.

He was released in March 1998, and joined Basingstoke Town, before a loan spell with Chertsey Town in March 1999.

The following summer, he became player-coach at Farnborough Town, remaining with the club until early in 2003.

When Farnborough manager Graham Westley moved to Stevenage Borough, Benstead joined him and in May 2004, took up the position of assistant-manager at Broadhall Way.

He was forced to step down in October that year due to personal circumstances.

More recently, Benstead has taken part in the Masters Football Tournament, playing in goal for Sheffield United.


About Author

Former Swansea City and Kettering Town defender who has been managing the likes of Kettering Town u18s, Rothwell Town, Desborough Town and Wellingborough Town for 33 years as well as being technical director at AFC Rushden & Diamonds. Began in non-League journalism as editor of Team Talk magazine back in the early 1990s and then as editor of Non-League Daily, joining Pitchero to set up Pitchero Non-League in January 2011. Also works for the National League.

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