Dunston UTS FC - Interview with Ben Sherwood
After 3 seasons with Dunston UTS FC, Ben Sherwood has decided to step down from his role as Fitness Coach. We speak to Ben ahead of our game pre-season game against Hartlepool United.
After 3 years with Dunston UTS FC, you’ve taken the decision to step down from your role. Why?
The main reason was travel. Living just south of Middlesbrough is a long way to drive. Combine that with my other activities away from Dunston, I just wanted to get some time back for myself to allow me to switch off mentally and enjoy some downtime.
3 years at the club, it’s a big commitment especially with the travel involved. How difficult has it been to make this decision?
It’s certainly one I’ve not took lightly, as I love the club and the people in and around it. I’m also not one to make rash decisions so I took my time to weigh the whole thing up.
Swaz has been brilliant from day one with me and that played its part too as you don’t want to feel like you’re letting people down. But I spoke with him about the decision and he was really understanding so I can’t thank him enough for that.
The same goes for everyone who’s involved off the pitch too (committee, media etc). People who I’ve got to know quite well and again, you don’t want to let them down but everyone’s been fantastic.
There have been some high points in the clubs recent history, and you’ve obviously played role in that. What would you say are the stand out memories?
It has to be winning the Northern League. To not only win it but by 17 points was remarkable. The team spirit across the board was unbelievable for the entire season.
However, you can’t forget the FA Cup run that season. Getting to the 4th qualifying round was a great achievement but the day itself was something to remember. The crowd was huge and with the addition of tv cameras it really made the day something to remember. Again, that whole season was down to the whole team work ethos on and off the pitch. Everything just gelled.
On a personal level, thinking back to when you first joined Dunston, to where you are now as a coach, you’ve had 3 seasons working with the likes of Swaz, Chris Errington as well as a host of experienced players, you must have developed and learned so much as a coach.
Without a doubt. It’s been an invaluable 3 years for me and the lessons learned from working in such an environment will hopefully have made me a better coach. After finishing my degrees and internship, Dunston gave me the opportunity to put into practice what I’d learnt and also to evaluate what works and what can we improve on. I’ll be forever indebted to all those who I’ve worked with.
Once you had break away, have you thought about what you’ll do in the future or what pathways you’d like to go down?
I’ll definitely stick with sport science but as to being involved with a team I want some time away from it, especially until Covid calms down as that’s something that’s been at the forefront for some time now obviously.
I’m currently going through the BASES Supervised Experience to become a certified practitioner so that will continue to keep me occupied via continually assessing myself as a coach.
The Hartlepool United game will mark your last involvement with Dunston, do you think it’ll be a bit of an emotional one for you?
I’m not a particularly emotional person (or at least I don’t think I am!) but I do think there will be an element of sadness as the time I’ve spent at the club has had a massive impact on me. That being said I’ll continue to follow Dunston whether that be on social media or otherwise. I’ll definitely be attending when we’re away to Stockton and Marske this season and hopefully pop up every so often for a home game.
Everyone involved with Dunston UTS FC would like to thank Ben Sherwood for his excellent contribution to the Club. He has dedicated over 3 years of his time and effort to the club and we very much appreciate his time with us.
Ben, we wish you all the best for the future.