My time in the Weston Academy was ‘special’ says Ben Crook

PUBLISHED: 17:00 01 June 2020

Ben Crook started his time with Weston as a goalkeeper before finding his position as a forward.

Ben Crook started his time with Weston as a goalkeeper before finding his position as a forward.


Ben Crook has hailed his time with Weston Football Club’s academy as ‘special’, writes Josh Thomas.

Ben Crook has just completed his first year with Cheltenham Town.Ben Crook has just completed his first year with Cheltenham Town.

Crook came through the Seagulls foundation phase before leaving for Cheltenham last summer to sign for their academy under-14 side.

“It was special,” said Crook.

“It gave me lots of opportunities to play and set me up where I am now.

“They were offering for me to be seen by scouts, giving me the opportunity to move on to a bigger and better place.

“Helping me train with certain things I needed to work on at the time, which says a lot on how they have improved, putting it out into the game and help the people around me as well.

“They always try to do what’s best for all the players. I didn’t want to leave, I wanted a few more seasons but it was good because now it’s more of a challenge, better players around me to work with.

“I’ve been playing bigger and better teams, but I am still scoring a lot of goals too.”

But for Crook it could have turned out so differently.

When he first came to the Weston academy he started in goal, before moving up front and scoring over 50 goals in his last season with the club.

“When they first started playing me there, they wanted to put me there because I was better there and it would work with the team better,” he added.

“This pushed me to be the best player I possibly could and get me into the right positions and they encouraged me to keep focused if I was getting annoyed or angry and make sure I am playing my best game as often as possible.”

But Crook, who dreams of playing for Manchester City in the Premier League and for England, says he owes a lot of the credit of his progress to both brothers Lloyd and Louis Dean, who he says are two of the most inspirational coaches he has played under.

“They helped a lot,” he added.

“One of my coaches Lloyd helped a lot with the mental stuff like when I was getting upset because we would lose, and he would help me with things like that and he would help me focus on the game.

“Louis helped with all my game stuff as well.

“They only coached me for a season, but they helped me improve more than any one of my coaches ever did.

“They were really helpful to focus on the things I needed to improve on, how to work on that in training and just made my whole game better all round.”

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