Danny Burnell – @dannyburnell92
Danny blogs all things Ben Wynter
When Gary Owers signed Wynter back in July 2018, few would have predicted how much of an impact the former Crystal Palace youth product would have. Currently the longest serving permanent member of the Gulls squad along with Asa Hall, he first made his appearance in a fairly uneventful 0-0 at Chelmsford. The afore mentioned two and Shaun MacDonald are the only surviving members of the team that day, such has been the squad turnover with Gary Johnson at the helm.
Liam Davis has since been and gone, as have the likes of Kyle Cameron, Sam Sherring, Koue Niate, George Essuman even! But Wynts has remained the constant in the Gulls back line. He rarely misses a game, and it was no coincidence that United’s form took a dip last season when he was side-lined with injury. Sustained in early December during the win at Wealdstone, Wynter missed 12 league games in all, combining in 3 losses which severely dented United’s title push.
Ben has perfected a style in the mould of ‘Dani Alves’ if you will. Marauding runs down the right, crosses that wouldn’t look out of place with a flake on them, and you know he’s usually good for a couple of goals a season. Not bad for a right back. But this season, Wynts has had to show his versatility. Thrust in at centre-back regularly, alongside Lewis, or sometimes even Moxey, he’s adapted, and you’d look no further than his performance at Chesterfield earlier this season of how great a footballer he is. A man of the match performance, and although Little & Lapslie got the plaudits for that cracking final 5 minutes, Ben Wynter had a massive part to play in that.
He seems settled in South Devon. When he rocked up at Plainmoor in the summer of 2018, Torquay were up s*** creek. Their lowest ebb. Relegated to the National League South, Owers tried to assemble a squad worthy of promotion. In truth, it shouldn’t have been difficult. One of, if not, the only full time club, proud FL history, there’s no doubt United were firm favourites. However, for every Wynter & Hall, there was a Chris Regis, or a Bobson Bawling. So when Gary turned up in the September of that season, you’d be forgiven for a whole scale clear-out. Not Wynts. He wasn’t the problem, far from it.
Few would have heard of the name ‘Ben Wynter’ when the 20 year old signed 4 years ago. Spells at Hampton & Richmond and Bromley the highlights of a fairly innocuous career. A career which has since thrived at Plainmoor and 113 appearances later has cemented his place in recent Plainmoor folklore with a string of vital goals (we’ll get to that in a minute), and huge involvement in two tremendous league campaigns.
I mentioned his goals. For a right back, his record ain’t half bad. He notched his first in style in a 4-0 rout of Slough back in January 2019. He’s piped up with late, late goals against Notts County (2-2), Aldershot (2-1), and of course Woking. The single most celebrated goal in United’s recent history, that’s for sure. A goal which may only have savoured a point, but won us the title. Not in a mathematical sense, but a physiological one. The Cards were a broken team after that game, and never regained their form. Torquay however, inspired by Wynter’s late heroics, managed to steam roller home for a memorable campaign.
At 24, Wynts is now entering his prime, or not far from it. He will only get better and it would be no surprise to see the former Palace man in the EFL at some point…with the Gulls, we all hope. He’s become the most loyal member of this squad and a no-nonsense, all conquering Mr Consistency. Very rarely below 7/10, fairly often an 8 or above.
I grew up at Plainmoor watching another fantastic right back, Lee Canoville. There’s no doubt Ben Wynter is the best we’ve had since then. And long may he reign. Here’s to another 113 Gulls appearances!
COYY – Danny
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