Doncaster Rovers appoint former Birmingham City and Sheffield United stopper Ian Bennett as goalkeeper coach

Doncaster Rovers have appointed former Birmingham, Leeds, Sheffield United, and Huddersfield Town stopper Ian Bennett as their new goalkeeper coach.

Wednesday, 22nd June 2022, 7:38 pm

The 50-year-old replaces Steve Hernandez in the role after he returned to his previous position as Rovers’ head of academy goalkeeping.

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Bennett made more than 500 appearances as a player, including upwards of 350 during his 12 years with Birmingham from 1993 to 2005.

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Gary McSheffrey and Doncaster's new goalkeeper coach Ian Bennett. Photo: Howard Roe/AHPIX LTD.

His coaching career has included spells at Nottingham Forest and Middlesbrough, as well as Huddersfield Town’s academy.

“It’s a real coup for the club,” said Rovers boss Gary McSheffrey.

“We were aware he became available and had an initial chat a few weeks back. It was nice to get him in.

“Getting someone of Benno’s experience to work with the first team is so key for the club. It shows the players we mean business.

“He knows the game inside and out.”

Bennett began working as a coach at the Huddersfield Academy in 2014 before taking on a similar role at Nottingham Forest the following year.

He was promoted to senior goalkeeping coach at Forest under Aitor Karanka and moved to his most recent club, Middlesbrough, ahead of the 2020/21 season.

Bennett left Boro at the end of last term.

On joining Doncaster, he said: “First impressions, it’s a really good club to join.

“We want to get the club going forward again.

“It’s a good time to be coming into the club, with the manager and a couple of people I already know in Steve Eyre and Steve Hernandez.

“We know the foundations they’re setting and what we’re doing with the players and hopefully we can put that in place.”

Hernandez worked in Doncaster’s academy for several years before he was promoted to the first team in December when McSheffrey took charge.

He was on the books of Sheffield United as a youngster and moved into coaching after being released as an 18-year-old.

Former Jamaica international Frank Sinclair was made assistant manager under McSheffrey but has also since returned to the club’s academy with the job title of head of youth development phase, having previously led the under-16s.

Steve Eyre, who joined the club’s coaching staff in March, has replaced him at first-team level.