Benedictus leadership quality stands outMonday, 13th Jun 2022
JMcP - “It makes me feel good that he wants to come here and play his football for Dunfermline Athletic in front of these fans.
Pars manager James McPake has been outlining the qualities that he sees in Kyle Benedictus, a player whose services he has sought before.
“He is a player who can handle different circumstances, different occasions. He ticks the boxes. Can he defend? Yes. Can he head it? Yes. How is he in the dressing room? He`s brilliant in a dressing room, and I know that from working with him.
“It was an easy decision for me, or an easy target for me, one that I had targeted at Dundee as well. It`s not a surprise to me, or it`s not one that an agent`s called me and said `would you take him?`. He`s a player that I`ve admired for a few years now.”
James is in no doubt that the 30 year old central defender is a leader and a good signing for him and Dunfermline Athletic.
“Everyone that`s watched a successful Raith Rovers team, and I mean that in terms of even the previous club I`ve managed, they were successful against us, they were good against us, and Kyle was the leader of that group.”
Coupled with that the Pars gaffer coined his first signing “a proper defender” and that is what he likes about the player who was a young 22 year old defender at Dundee when James McPake joined them from Hibernian in May 2014:-
“I did a lot of work with him, enjoyed working with him, he enjoys working. He`s now played over 300 games, he`s got plenty of experience, and he`s what we need at this football club at the minute.
“I`ll not hide the fact that I did try and have a go a couple of times to bring him to Dundee when I was manager. That`s how much I think of Kyle Benedictus. I`m delighted to get him over the line, and delighted he chose to come here, because he did have another couple of options.”
James believes that Kyle has got a bit of everything in his game and that he can be a real asset to him at East End Park:-
“Everyone knows how good he is on the ball and what he can do with the ball, but take that side of it away, he can defend as well.
He puts his head where a lot of people wouldn`t. He makes blocks, he`s mobile, and he certainly fits the bill in terms of leadership and quality that we`re needing.”
When James first met up with Kyle he was the age that Kyle is presently and James went on to make 55 Premierleague and cup appearances for Dundee. The gaffer continued:-
“Kyle’s a good age, he has plenty of experience and 30`s nothing as a centre back. I don`t want to jinx him by saying he`s not had many injuries, but he`s not. He`s played a lot of football, he`s had a lot of success in his career, and he`s played in a lot of high pressure, or high profile games, whether that be play-offs, or he`s won leagues. He knows what it`s like to win and we`re trying to get that back at this football club.
“That`s not talking about the dressing room that`s already there, because there`s a lot of players in there that have done a lot in the game, but just solely talking about Kyle Benedictus, then yes, he wants to defend, but he`s one of the ones that, when you`re under pressure, he`ll take the ball. He`ll not buckle.”
James McPake wants to make East End Park a tough place for visiting teams to play, and Kyle is just the kind to help that become a reality.
“I worked with him as a player, and saw then the way he played, and trained with him every day. I would have liked to have played a lot more with him, at the time circumstances dictated that wasn`t the case, but watching him develop has been good to see because, not only that, he`s a good character. That`s another major asset and a major thing that we`re trying to bring to the club, is good characters.
“He fits the bill in terms of quality and character and, the fact that he comes from a rival, or a team in the league above, it makes me feel good that he wants to come here and play his football for Dunfermline Athletic in front of these fans.
“It makes me feel good that I`ve got the chance to work with him because I know how good a character, and how hard working he is, but his leadership qualities stand out as well. We certainly need that.”
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