Julian Bennett (footballer)
|Full name||Julian Llewelyn Bennett|
|Date of birth||17 December 1984|
|Place of birth||Nottingham, England|
|Height||6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)|
|Playing position||Left back|
|Current club||Southend United|
|2010–2011||→ Crystal Palace (loan)||13||(1)|
|2012||→ Shrewsbury Town (loan)||4||(0)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 23:15, 2 February 2014 (UTC).
† Appearances (Goals).
Youth & Wallsall
Bennett was a youth player at Nottingham Forest's Centre of Excellence but left when he was 14 years old to play for local teams in the Nottingham area. However, he soon joined Walsall as a YTS player. He progressed through the youth and reserve sides at Walsall and eventually became a regular first-team player there in the 2004-05 season. He made a total of over 50 appearances for Walsall, playing at centre-back and left-back.
On 10 January 2006, Bennett signed for his home town club of Nottingham Forest in a two-and-a-half-year deal for an undisclosed fee. He said, "Lots of other teams, including ones in the Championship, were showing interest in me, but this is my home-town club and it's a dream come true".
In the 2007–08 season, the signing of the experienced Matt Lockwood put Bennett's chances to maintain his place under pressure. However, injury to Lockwood gave him an opportunity. He scored his first goal of the season in Forest's 2–1 defeat at Luton Town. He received praise from Calderwood after assisting both of Forest's goals in a 2-0 win against Tranmere Rovers, who admitted it would be difficult to take him out of the team despite Lockwood nearing a return. He then had an injury in late November 2007 that kept him sidelined him until the new year.
On 12 January 2008, Bennett signed a new two-and-a-half year contract, committing him to the club until the summer of 2010. On return to fitness, he managed to dislodge Matt Lockwood from the starting line-up and continued in the same vein of form. He made a total of 33 league starts in the 2007-08 season, scoring 4 goals. He netted two goals in two games in February 2008, against Millwall and Leeds, and made a goal-line clearance at Elland Road. He also scored in the final game of the season, the first goal in Forest's 3–2 victory over Yeovil at the City Ground, which saw Forest finish second in League One in a dramatic last day of the season, thereby gaining promotion to the Championship
Bennett was voted Forest's Player of the Year for the promotion 2007-08 season. 'Jules' had helped the team keep 24 clean sheets that season, a league record. His performances were also recognised when he was named in the PFA's League One team of the year along with Forest team mate Kris Commons. However, having established himself as first choice left-back at Forest and become a fan favourite - owing to his consistent form, local credentials and no-nonsense playing style - the rest of his career at the City Ground was ravaged by injury.
The 2008-09 season was one to forget for Bennett. On 21 October 2008 he injured his collarbone which kept him out of action for six weeks. Then, soon after his return, in December 2008 he sustained a serious knee injury (cruciate and cartilage ligaments) in the Boxing Day 4–2 home defeat to Doncaster Rovers. This ruled him out for the rest of the season.
Recovering from a major knee operation, Bennett commenced rehab in summer 2009 and full training in January 2010. After an extensive 14-month injury lay-off, he returned in a behind-closed-doors friendly in March 2010 at Forest's training ground in which he played 45 minutes. Shortly afterwards Bennett signed a contract extension keeping him at Forest until summer 2011. He did not play for the Forest first team for the entirety of the 2009-10 season, but he did make a minor public comeback at the final home match when he warmed up on the pitch with his team mates before the game.
In July 2010 Bennett played in three pre-season friendly fixtures. However, on 5 August Forest signed left-back Ryan Bertrand from Chelsea on loan for six months; the following day Bennett was allowed go on loan to Crystal Palace, thus giving him the chance to demonstrate his match fitness and form through the improved opportunity of regular first team action. He returned to Forest on 5 January 2011 but was not allowed to go out on loan again due to the loss of loanee Ryan Bertrand. Nevertheless, during the rest of the season Bennett failed to achieve a start for Forest: his opportunities being severely reduced partly due to the signing by Forest of the experienced Paul Konchesky on 31 January 2011 in a 93-day emergency loan deal, but also because of manager Billy Davies' preference for other players as cover at left-back. Bennett made three appearances as substitute for Forest in the latter part of the 2010-11 season.
Bennett became a free agent in July 2011. He made a total of over 100 appearances for Forest. His final starting appearance in a competitive match for the club had transpired to be the one in which he had seriously injured his knee on 26 December 2008. Although Forest indicated they were prepared to offer Bennett a one-year contract should he be unable to find another club (in recognition of the community work he had undertaken during his time recovering from injury), he subsequently signed for League One side Sheffield Wednesday.
Crystal Palace (loan)
At the beginning of the 2010-11 season Bennett joined Crystal Palace on loan in a six-month deal. In August The Sun newspaper reported that he and former Dutch international Edgar Davids had had a 'bust-up' in training. He made 14 appearances for Palace, scoring one goal which came in a 2-1 win over Norwich City on 19 October 2010. His loan spell ended in January 2011.
On 5 July 2011 Bennett signed a two-year contract with League One club Sheffield Wednesday. This saw him reunited with Wednesday manager Gary Megson who had signed him for Nottingham Forest five years previously. The reunion was short lived however, as Megson was sacked less than 8 months later. Since the departure of former manager Gary Megson, Bennett struggled to make an appearance in the first team. The left-back was out of contract in the summer of 2013 and was not offered a new deal as manager Dave Jones began his clear-out.
Shrewsbury Town (loan)
In October 2012, an out of favour Bennett was loaned out to League One side Shrewsbury Town. He made his Shrews debut against Bournemouth on 6 November. On 29 November, his loan was cut short due to a back injury, and he returned to his parent club.
- Sheffield Wednesday
- League One
- Runners Up (1): 2011-2012
- Nottingham Forest
- League One
- Runners Up (1): 2007-2008
- Player Of The Year
- Winner (1): 2007-2008
- League One
- Team Of The Year (1): 2007-2008
- "Forest sign Bennett from Walsall". BBC News. 10 January 2006.
- "Bennett was the key - Calderwood". BBC News. 4 November 2007.
- "Bennett facing further month out". BBC News. 6 December 2007.
- "Bennett caps comeback with a goal". BBC News. 8 January 2008.
- "'Jules' Tops Poll". Nottingham Forest F.C. 4 May 2008. Archived from the original on 8 July 2011. Retrieved 18 October 2013.
- "Bennett makes reserves comeback". BBC News. 3 December 2008.
- "Forest defender Bennett returns". BBC News. 2 March 2010.
- "Bennett signs new Forest contract". BBC News. 4 March 2010.
- "Forest bring in Chelsea left-back". BBC News. 5 August 2010.
- "Eagle Jules". Nottingham Forest F.C. 6 August 2010. Archived from the original on 16 June 2012. Retrieved 18 October 2013.
- "Reds Land Konchesky". Nottingham Forest F.C. 31 January 2011. Archived from the original on 3 February 2011. Retrieved 18 October 2013.
- "Standing By Julian". Nottingham Forest F.C. 14 June 2011. Archived from the original on 3 September 2011. Retrieved 18 October 2013.
- "Palace snap up Forest's Bennett". BBC News. 6 August 2010.
- "Julian Bennett profile". Crystal Palace F.C. Archived from the original on 30 December 2011. Retrieved 18 October 2013.
- Little, Tony (11 October 2013). "Edgar Davids involved in a furious bust up at Crystal Palace". The Sun. Retrieved 18 October 2013.
- "Norwich 1 - 2 Crystal Palace". BBC. 19 October 2010. Retrieved 19 January 2011.
- "Loan Rangers Return". Nottingham Forest F.C. 5 January 2011. Archived from the original on 9 January 2011. Retrieved 18 October 2013.
- "Jules Joins Owls". Nottingham Forest F.C. 5 July 2011. Archived from the original on 5 September 2011. Retrieved 18 October 2013.
- "Bennett completes Wednesday move". BBC News. 5 July 2011.
- "Bennett bolsters Owls defence". Sheffield Wednesday. 5 July 2011. Archived from the original on 3 September 2011. Retrieved 18 October 2013.
- "Shrewsbury Town end Lee Collins and Julian Bennett loan deals". BBC Sport. 29 November 2012. Retrieved 29 November 2012.
- "Southend sign Conor Clifford, Julian Bennett and Craig Reid". BBC Sport. 1 August 2013. Retrieved 5 August 2013.