MANAGER Tom Killick reckons Poole Town will reap the rewards of loan star Justin Bennett’s Wembley dream – even if it cuts short his Tatnam stint.
Dolphins renewed the Gosport striker’s temporary deal over the weekend with a 24-hour release clause inserted for the duration of his second month in Dorset.
The move came shortly after Bennett’s parent club beat Havant & Waterlooville on Saturday to reach the FA Trophy final at Wembley Stadium on Sunday, March 23.
It means Bennett, Borough’s top scorer during back-to-back promotions through the Southern League over the past two seasons, can continue building up game time with Killick’s side without missing out on Gosport’s big day.
And the Dolphins manager backed his borrowed hitman to keep his eyes on Poole’s promotion prize, despite the lure of a date at the home of football.
Killick told the Daily Echo: “Gosport might want to keep open their options but it can’t be a negative distraction for Justin.
“He knows what will be, will be. He can’t hugely affect Gosport’s plans but the better he does and the more goals he scores, the more chance he has of a recall so it can only have a positive impact.
“I don’t think he needs that to motivate him and I’m not sure it will make a real difference. I know he is driven to score regularly for us and get some enjoyment into his game.”
Killick, who bagged a brace in Wimborne Town’s FA Vase triumph at Wembley under current Gosport manager Alex Pike in 1992, said he would have no qualms over Bennett taking the option of leaving Tatnam early.
“I know Justin would love to be involved and if he gets the opportunity he would have to snatch off their hands,” he added.
“He wants to make a name for himself with us but the Wembley thing is always going to override that to a certain extent and the FA Trophy is a whole different level to the Vase.
“When you’re in your early 20s, you always think these big things will happen but it might not get any better for many of the lads that play on the day – that’s how big it is.
“In my playing days, if I had been on loan and my parent club recalled me to play at Wembley, I would have had my bag packed before the end of the conversation.
“From the outside, I cannot properly comprehend the enormity of Gosport’s achieve-ment but for an exceptional servant like Justin it might be the highlight of his career.”
Meanwhile, Poole are expected to draft in a host of youngsters for their Dorset Senior Cup semi-final at Gillingham Town tonight.
In the other last-four clash, Hamworthy United travel to Weymouth without cup-tied quartet Shaun Brian, John Webb, Dan Ackerman and Micky Hubbard.
Wimborne Town host Swindon Supermarine in Southern South & West while Verwood Town travel to Horndean in the Wessex Premier (all 7.45).