Benbow Bounces Back
If you ever want a story to demonstrate commitment, dedication, determination and courage Nick Benbow is your man.
Benbow, 26, has had his football career cut drastically short through a serious of terrifying hamstring and back related injuries but come this weekend he will officially make a long awaited return to football when he runs out for Sandringham reserves.
“It has been a long couple of years that is for sure,” Benbow said.
“I first did my knee at Frankston when I was 21 and then it has been the back and hamstring injuries that have kept me grounded.”
When you look at the numbers it reads 10 injury hampered games over the last three years, three football clubs, numerous football specialists, four to five injections.
It seems like a lot of work and effort for ultimately no result and there would be no one who would hold a grudge if he threw in the towel.
“I love football and love being around football clubs,” He said.
“When I first got injured I thought my best football was ahead of me, and I still think that.”
He is the first to admit that he thought his promising career could have been over but is determined to make the most of this opportunity.
“There were a lot of times when I thought what am I doing and it was time to pull the pin,” he said.
But he credits his move to the Sandringham Football Club as to one of the reasons why he is so excited about this weekend.
“I was at Frankston and I was not happy with everything that was going on there at the time,” Benbow said.
“I originally got in contact with Andy Lovell and he got me in contact with the St Kilda physio and was really good.”
“I can’t fault the Sandringham Football club they have been amazing since I walked in the door and I am privileged to be a part of such a great club.”
Benbow recalls the days when he played against the Zebras as a Frankston player and admits Sandringham was the club everyone wanted to be at.
“Everyone used to be in ore of Sandringham, they use to be the club you wanted to be at,” He said.
“They really do look after everyone here.”
Benbow has been a regular senior player at VFL level in the past but will make his comeback through the reserves this weekend but if you ask him it is as good as playing in the AFL.
“I don’t really care where I play or who I play with I am just very excited to get back out on the park and have a kick,” he said.
“If someone told me that I would play footy for the rest of the season it wouldn’t matter if it was VFL 2’s or back in the country, all I want to do is play footy.”
Although you can tell Benbow’s excitement heading into his comeback match he is keeping a bit of a lid on everything at the minute as he has been here on numerous occasions only to breakdown once again.
“I am just taking it as it comes this time, I suppose you could say I am keeping a bit of a lid on it,” he said.
“I am more confident this time around though and hopefully I am on top of it.”
At the tender age of 26, Benbow is still in his prime and although he is taking small steps to begin with he has no intention of hanging up the boots just yet.
“As I said I wouldn’t have done this if I didn’t think my best footy was in front of me,” Benbow said.
“I am only 26 so there are definitely a few years left but all I want to do is take one step at a time and gradually work my way back.”
His goal starts with playing out this season regardless of whether it is in reserves or seniors, when he ticks that box off he will move to the next goal as that is the type of person he is.
But with his determination, courage and dedication I would be very surprised if he is not running out with the senior side in the not too distant future and wouldn’t it be a great story for everyone involved.
Troy Snow is a Journalism Graduate writing stories for SFC on a voluntary basis; Thanks to Troy for giving up his personal time to write this.