Bentley playing for Southend United in 2014
|Full name||Daniel Ian Bentley|
|Date of birth||13 July 1993|
|Place of birth||Basildon, England|
|Height||6 ft 4 in (1.93 m)|
|2011||→ Braintree Town (loan)||2||(0)|
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 14:02, 30 May 2015 (UTC).
Born in Basildon, Essex, Bentley started his career in the youth team of Southend United and was sent out on loan to Conference South side Braintree Town initially on cover for one game. However, he ended up staying and made two appearances for the club against Welling United and Dover Athletic. He was given his first professional contract in the summer of 2011, on a two-year deal. He made his professional debut for the Shrimpers on 22 October 2011 in a 4–1 win over Torquay United, replacing the injured Glenn Morris in the second half.
Following an injury to first choice Southend United goalkeeper Paul Smith, Bentley was called upon to deputise and played in his first run of first team games in the 2012–13 season, making his full debut for Southend on 22 September 2012 against Exeter City, a game Southend won 2–1. Bentley went on to play further games against Plymouth, and Burton Albion before Paul Smith returned to full fitness.
Bentley continued to play in cup games, and developed a reputation for being a good penalty saver. As a consequence, with a Football League Trophy southern area semi-final against Oxford United seemingly heading to Penalties, Southend manager Paul Sturrock substituted starting goalkeeper Paul Smith for Bentley in the 90th minute, provoking an angry reaction from Smith. Bentley went on to save Alfie Potter's spot kick and Southend won 5–3 on penalties, progressing to the Southern area final. Sturrock justified the decision by stating "Bentley has been fantastic at penalties all his career, and it worked, he saved one".
Bentley kept 19 clean sheets during the 2013–14 season. His impressive performances linked him with a move to Leeds United as a potential replacement for Paddy Kenny, manager Brian McDermott also watched Bentley in Southend's 3–0 win against Rochdale on Good Friday. After being linked with a move to Leeds, Bentley proclaimed that he wouldn't let the speculation of a potential move affect his performances.
Over the summer of 2014 Bentley was linked with moves to Premier League clubs, but eventually remained at Southend, and in the early part of the following season he was considered for the England U21s, however he was not selected.
Southend made it the play-off final at Wembley Stadium where they played against Wycombe Wanderers. The game was goalless after 90 minutes, however 5 minutes into extra-time Wycombe took the lead through an own goal from Bentley. A free kick from Joe Jacobson hit the crossbar before rebounding off of the diving Bentley's back into the goal. However with 20 seconds remaining Southend took the game to a penalty shoot out, in which Bentley was the hero after saving penalties from Matt Bloomfield and Sam Wood, meaning that Southend won promotion to League One.
The season was full of accolades for Bentley, winning all three of the club's end of season awards - supporters' player, players' player and community player of the year. He also won the Football League Young Player of the Month for April 2015 and made the League Two PFA Team of the Year along with teammate Ben Coker.
- Southend United
- Southend United
- Southend United's player of the season 14-15
- "Daniel Bentley". Barry Hugman's Footballers. Retrieved 30 May 2015.
- Rollin, Glenda; Rollin, Jack, eds. (2012). Sky Sports Football Yearbook 2012–2013 (43rd ed.). London: Headline. p. 531. ISBN 978-0-7553-6356-8.
- "Daniel Bentley joins Braintree Town on loan but back for Anfield!". 4 February 2011. Retrieved 24 October 2011.
- "Southend United contract a dream – Bentley". BBC News. 20 May 2011. Retrieved 24 October 2011.
- "Southend United goalkeeper Daniel Bentley insists he's ready for chance". 23 October 2011. Retrieved 24 October 2011.
- "Southend United goalkeeper Daniel Bentley hopes to make full debut against Exeter City". 19 September 2012. Retrieved 14 January 2013.
- "Paul Smith sorry for Southend United 'antics'". 10 January 2013. Retrieved 14 January 2013.
- "Southend manager Paul Sturrock defends JPT keeper swap". 9 January 2013. Retrieved 14 January 2013.
- "Leeds United boss Brian McDermott scouts Southend goalkeeper Daniel Bentley". Daily Mail. 18 April 2014. Retrieved 18 April 2014.
- "Leeds United: Mac and squad are waiting for Cellino". Yorkshire Evening Post. 7 May 2014. Retrieved 7 May 2014.
- "Southend United's Daniel Bentley not distracted by Leeds United rumours". Echo. 25 April 2014. Retrieved 25 April 2014.
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