Ben Davies (footballer, born 1981)

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Ben Davies
Ben Davies.JPG
Davies playing for Shrewsbury Town in 2008
Personal information
Full name Benjamin James Davies
Date of birth (1981-05-27) 27 May 1981 (age 33)
Place of birth Birmingham, England
Height 5 ft 7 in (1.70 m)
Playing position Midfielder
Club information
Current team
Sheffield United
Number 16
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1999–2000 Walsall 0 (0)
2000–2002 Kidderminster Harriers 13 (0)
2002–2006 Chester City 155 (16)
2006–2009 Shrewsbury Town 115 (30)
2009–2011 Notts County 67 (20)
2011–2014 Derby County 73 (6)
2014 Sheffield United (loan) 18 (3)
2014– Sheffield United 9 (4)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 13:42, 28 September 2014 (UTC).
† Appearances (Goals).

Benjamin James "Ben" Davies (born 27 May 1981) is an English footballer who currently plays as a midfielder for Sheffield United. Born in Birmingham, Davies began his career with Walsall before dropping into the Football Conference, playing for Kidderminster Harriers and Chester City. Moving back to the Football League he had a spell with Shrewsbury Town before signing for Notts County and then Derby County.

Career[edit]

Early career[edit]

A midfielder, Davies began his career with Walsall. He had spells with Kidderminster Harriers and Chester City, where he won a Football Conference championship medal in 2004. During his time at the Deva, he was made club captain.

Shrewsbury Town[edit]

Davies joined Shrewsbury Town two days before turning 25, making his club debut in the 2006–07 opener against Mansfield Town, which finished 2–2. He scored in Shrewsbury's next three matches, going on to net a total of 12 times over the course of the season.

After Davies helped Shrewsbury to seventh position in the league, he suffered an injury in the play-off semi-final against MK Dons, which meant that he missed the play-off final, and was expected miss to the first half of the 2007–08 season.[1]

Davies recovered faster than expected from his Achilles tendon injury, returning for the first team in late November. He played an instrumental role in Shrewsbury's return to winning ways, scoring a stunning free kick and an excellent driven goal in a 4–0 win against Dagenham and Redbridge and also scoring away against Accrington Stanley. Following Stewart Drummond's departure in the January 2008 transfer window, Davies was installed as Shrewsbury's club captain. Having missed the 2007 final, Davies played the 2009 League Two play-off final, which Shrewsbury lost. One of several key players out of contract at the end of the season, Shrewsbury did offer Davies a contract extension, however, Notts County offered him a deal which he felt gave him a greater chance at achieving his ambition to play at a higher level. As a result Davies left Shrewsbury to join County.

Notts County[edit]

Davies had a successful first season at Notts County, playing an integral part in them winning the league. He became the highest scoring midfielder in a single season in County's history as he scored 16 goals, alongside 20 assists, and won several awards, including Supporters player of the year, club player of the year and goal of the season, as well as being named in thr PFA Team of the year. His form was such that in August 2010 he was subject to overtures from Championship side Derby County, with Derby boss Nigel Clough leaving a 2–1 defeat at Coventry City 5 minutes early left to watch the player.[2] Davies remained at County however, and in his first season at League One level hit 5 goals in 22 games, including two strikes in a 3–2 victory at Peterborough United, as well as numerous assist. The form saw Derby retain their interest into the January 2011 transfer window, lodging several bids which were rejected,[3][4] Davies desire to play Championship level football saw him hand in a transfer request, despite proclaiming "I absolutely love it here, I'm the happiest I have ever been in my career."[5] Finally, a bid from Derby in the region of £350k was accepted by County and the player completed a move on 20 January 2011, signing a two-and-a-half year deal to run until July 2013.[5]

Derby County[edit]

Davies made his full Derby County debut in a 1–0 home defeat to fierce rivals Nottingham Forest. Joining the club in a run of form which had seen just one win from their previous nine fixtures, Davies had to wait until his seventh appearance before tasting a victory at his new club; a 1–0 victory at relegation rivals Sheffield United. As the club itself struggled, so did Davies with the step up and, after starting in a 3–1 home defeat to Doncaster Rovers, Davies was dropped to the bench. Davies later admitted that he deserved to be dropped; "I'm not one to hide and my performances weren't good enough – I know that. I hold my hands up. I couldn't go knocking the manager's door down saying I deserved to be in the team because, based on my performances, I didn't."[6] Davies was eventually recalled to the starting line-up in April 2011, hitting the winner in a 2–1 victory over Leeds United, with an "unstoppable" 20-yard volley.[7] Despite this, Davies was unable to hold down a regular place for the remainder of the season.

After playing an active role in Derby's pre-season fixtures,[8][9] Davies found himself in the first team for the start of the 2011–12 season, playing every minute as Derby won their opening four fixtures for the first time in 106-years to find themselves in 2nd place in the early season table.[10] The fourth victory, 3–0 over Doncaster Rovers, saw Davies open his account for the season as well as provide assists for the other two goals.[10] Davies was rewarded with a place in the Championship Team of the Week,[11] something he repeated following his performance in a 3–0 win over Millwall, a game in which he created two of Derby's three goals.[12] The form of Davies dropped during November he was dropped from the starting 11 at the start of December, making only three substitute appearances until the start of March 2012, making an immediate impact as he set up a headed goal for Steve Davies within 2 minutes of coming on.[13] With Davies restored to the starting eleven, Derby manager Nigel Clough urged Davies take advantage of the injury of Jamie Ward, stating the quality Davies can offer from set pieces and crosses.[14] Davies was eventually credited with 11 assists during the 2011–12 season, 10 in the league and 1 in the League Cup.

In 2012–13, Davies lost his place as a regular member of the matchday squad and was restricted to limited substitute appearances and games as an overage player in Derby's under-21 side. Despite this Davies scored his first goal in 15 months in a 3–1 win against Leeds United Davies scoring the in stoppage time after being introduced in the 82nd minute of the game.[15] Davies hoped this goal help regain his place in starting line up at Derby after he turned down several loan moves due to personal issues after his ten-month-old son Evan had health issues and had an eye operation.[16] Davies began to feature more regularly for County after the turn of the year, and after impressing manager Nigel Clough with his performances in March and April, Davies was offered a new one year contract at the end of April.[17]

2013–14 saw Davies restricted to the League Cup and two substitute appearances in the opening stages of the season. After the sacking of Nigel Clough at the end of September, Davies appeared just twice more as a substitute and following an 89th minute substitute in a 3–0 win over Sheffield Wednesday on 9 November 2013 he disappeared from the first team picture completely.

Sheffield United[edit]

Davies eventually linked up with former manager Clough in February 2014 when he signed for Sheffield United on loan until the end of the season.[18] With United struggling with injuries, Davies was initially employed as a left-back and scored his first goal for the club from a free kick in a 2–0 home victory over Peterborough United at the start of March.[19] Davies played regularly for United for the remainder of the season, appearing in a number of positions, and finished the campaign having made 20 appearances for the Blades and scored three goals.[20] With his deal at Derby due to expire, United offered Davies a permanent contract in the summer of 2014,[21] a deal which he duly signed the following month.[22]

Personal life[edit]

Born in Birmingham, Davies supported Aston Villa as a child.[19]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Ben Out Till Christmas". Shrewsbury Town F.C. 8 July 2007. Retrieved 8 July 2007. 
  2. ^ "Rams step up attempt to land Magpies midfield star". This Is Derbyshire. 13 January 2011. Retrieved 13 January 2011. 
  3. ^ "Magpies reject Davies offer". Team Talk. 19 January 2011. Retrieved 19 January 2011. 
  4. ^ a b "No County for Old Ben". WellyPie Football. 20 January 2011. Retrieved 20 January 2011. 
  5. ^ "Davies is ready to grab his second chance". This Is Derbyshire. 12 April 2011. Retrieved 12 April 2011. 
  6. ^ "Ben's relief as he opens account with super strike". This Is Derbyshire. 13 April 2011. Retrieved 13 April 2011. 
  7. ^ "Burton Albion 1–3 Derby County". Derby County F.C. 16 July 2011. Retrieved 16 July 2011. 
  8. ^ "Derby County 2–0 Aston Villa". Derby County F.C. 11 August 2011. Retrieved 11 August 2011. 
  9. ^ a b "Ben Davies delight at Derby County start". BBC Sport. 22 August 2011. Retrieved 22 August 2011. 
  10. ^ "Super Ben Named In 'Team Of The Week'". Derby County F.C. 22 August 2011. Retrieved 22 August 2011. 
  11. ^ "Trio rewarded with Team of the Week spots". Derby County F.C. 28 September 2011. Retrieved 28 September 2011. 
  12. ^ "Birmingham 2 – 2 Derby". BBC Sport. 3 March 2012. Retrieved 3 March 2012. 
  13. ^ "Ben Davies must take Derby County chance – Nigel Clough". BBC Sport. 8 March 2012. Retrieved 8 March 2012. 
  14. ^ "Ben Davies' super strike serves as reminder to Derby County manager Nigel Clough". This Is Derbyshire. 10 December 2012. Retrieved 10 December 2012. 
  15. ^ "Davies hoping strike can help revive Rams career". Burton Mail. 11 December 2012. Retrieved 11 December 2012. 
  16. ^ "Midfielder Ben Davies is offered a new contract by Derby County". This is Derbyshire. 29 April 2013. Retrieved 29 April 2013. 
  17. ^ "Loan signing confirmed". Sheffield United F.C. 19 February 2014. Retrieved 19 February 2014. 
  18. ^ a b "The dream becomes reality for Davies". The Sheffield Star. 7 March 2014. Retrieved 7 March 2014. 
  19. ^ "Games played by Ben Davies in 2013/2014". Soccerbase. Retrieved 18 May 2014. 
  20. ^ "Blades make headway in the market". The Sheffield Star. 17 May 2014. Retrieved 18 May 2014. 
  21. ^ "Ben Davies and Chris Porter sign Sheffield United deals". BBC Sport. 9 June 2014. Retrieved 9 June 2014. 

External links[edit]