SWINDON Town goalkeeper Steven Benda isn’t a young player lacking in ambition, particularly after he outlined his dream of one day playing in the world’s greatest division - the Premier League.

Benda, who yesterday celebrated his 21st birthday, had no idea his second educational stint in England was about to be offered to him on the morning of this summer’s transfer deadline day.

A call from the German’s goalkeeping coach at Swansea City quickly prompted his move to SN1, though.

And within hours, he was a member of Richie Wellens’ League Two outfit, Swindon Town.

Joe Hart is a fine example of a proven Premier League player that used England’s lower tiers to build a CV fit for a big-money move to one of the country’s top clubs.

And Benda is willing to put the hours necessary into his game in order to reach the sport’s highest tiers – his ambition certainly cannot be faulted.

He said: “I want to be playing in the Premier League. That’s a big goal of mine.

“When I first came over to England, I didn’t know anybody and didn’t know what the football was like.

“It took me a while to get used to the game being more physical.

“I like Richie Wellens’ playing style. At Swansea, we try and play as much football possible.

“That’s what Richie is trying to do. It’s not possible at all times, but I like the way he coaches.”

To date, Benda is yet to make a first-team appearance under Wellens.

But the 21-year-old has instantly settled into life in Wiltshire, and he thanked Steve Mildenhall and his goalkeeping teammates for making that possible.

Some fans have stated on social media they would like to see the Stuttgart-born stopper granted a chance in between the sticks off the back of a handful of errors made by first-choice ‘keeper Luke McCormick.

Regardless of who plays, Benda made it clear all of Town’s four goalkeepers have maintained a positive and healthy relationship on the training ground. Benda said: “It can be tricky as obviously only one of us can play. But we work hard in training, everyone gets better together.

“And when you get that chance, you’ve got to be there to take it.

“Everyone at Swindon Town has been very nice and welcoming – Steve Mildenhall is a great goalkeeping coach and a great guy as well.

“He’s helped me to settle in, as have Luke (McCormick), Will (Henry) and Archie (Matthews) too.

“We have a very good spirit on the training ground.

“Everyone works hard and is positive. Whoever is playing, everyone supports them.”

This Is Wiltshire: Steven Benda joined Swindon Town on transfer deadline day. PICTURE: STFC. Steven Benda joined Swindon Town on transfer deadline day. PICTURE: STFC.


A WISE head on young shoulders, words that epitomise Swindon Town goalkeeper Steven Benda. He’s cool, calm, collected, and simply waiting for an opportunity to prove his worth in English football.

Arriving in England as an 18-year-old from Germany, his home country, Benda knew – with hard work – his dream of playing in the Premier League could be achieved.

He still believes that, but understands the undulating road that lies ahead if he is to achieve his goals.

Getting to grips with English players’ fast-paced speech was the first obstacle he had to overcome.

But he has adapted well, and continues to shine when his family fly over to watch him play once a month.

Afterall, it was his mum – who used to play football – and dad that first inspired him to kick a ball.

He added: “You learn English at a young age, but that doesn’t help when everyone speaks much faster over here.

“But, in time, you learn. My younger life went very quickly.

“My mum played football when she was younger – my whole family are football fans. I loved the game from a very young age.

“They have flown over a few times – every month or so they’ll come over for a week.”