Matty Hayward – @MattyHayward96
Matty discusses new Gull Ben Wyatt
“We’ve signed a full back.”
“Oh, sound, who is it?”
“He’s called Ben”
“Ben? It’s not the return of…is it?”
“But he’s just signed for Barnet???”
“OH MY WORD – WELCOME HOME YOU BEAUTIFUL MAN”
Literally nobody has had that conversation, but it’s a bit of fun, isn’t it?
It’s a week before the first game of the season and we’ve got one recognised left wing back, and he’s injured for an indefinite period of time. That felt like a problem. The solution? Ben Wyatt, who Gary has brought in from Sutton.
Ben Wyatt was born in Norwich in 1996, and spent time with both the Canaries and Ipswich Town as a youngster. After a season with Maldon & Tiptree, he signed a pro contract at Colchester, but never appeared for the club. A loan at Concord Rangers was followed by a season with Braintree. His tour of relatively shit southeastern non-league clubs was not over, as he then signed for St Albans City.
This was the year that sparked his career, as he earned a move to then National League side Sutton United. He played 17 times in his first season there, then made 19 appearances in their title-winning campaign. Since, Wyatt has played 16 times in League Two and a further seven times in the pizza trophy. The left back joins Torquay following his release from Gander Green Lane, and a trial in the home friendly against Exeter.
POSITION – Left Back
DATE OF BIRTH – 04/02/1996
HEIGHT – 1.73m
BIRTHPLACE – Norwich
PREVIOUS CLUBS – Norwich, Ipswich, Maldon and Tiptree, Colchester, Concord Rangers, Braintree, St Albans, Sutton.
STATS 21-22 – League 2: Played 16, Goals Scored 0, Yellow/Red Cards 1/0
Ben has scored seven goals in his career, all of which came in the National League South, and none of which appear to be available online. I’m hoping, for your sake and mine, that the club will do a bit of magic and release a highlights package like they have for our other signings.
I’m sorry to let you down.
MOST/LEAST LIKELY TO
Most Likely To:
- Start the season as our left wing back. There’s been no indication as to how long Dan Martin will be out for, but reports of him walking around Plainmoor in a boot suggest he won’t be back for Oldham (h). This gives Wyatt ample opportunity to stamp his authority on the starting XI
- Be a versatile acquisition. Upon announcing the signing, Johnson said Wyatt “can play left back, left wing back, or left wing, and with us he’s going to have to play all of them”
Least Likely To:
- Be the first thing to come up when you google his name. As I’ve discovered, there’s a character in Parks and Recreation called Ben Wyatt. I neither know, nor care to know, any more about him.
- Give his place back to Martin easily. This lad hasn’t just come in to be a stop gap: he’s more experienced than Martin and at a higher level. The two should provide robust competition for each other.
- Let Asa Hall free in the box in training matches. The former Sutton man knows what the skipper can do with his head if given the opportunity.
It’s hard to see this as anything other than a good signing. While a left back from Sutton isn’t going to blow anyone’s mind, and while it’s slightly uncomfortable that we’re taking cast-offs from Sutton, Wyatt represents a marked improvement on the possibility of having to go into the opening game of the season with a number ten playing on the left side of defence. It didn’t work for Sam Chaney and it wouldn’t have worked for Kieron Evans, who has deputised there in pre-season. Wyatt is yet another Johnson signing that allows the gaffer further flexibility with his shape, particularly when Dan Martin returns to the fray. This, coupled with his experience of winning this league and playing at the level above, make Wyatt’s acquisition exciting.
COYY – Matty