FORMER Hereford United player Trevor Benjamin knows the size of the task facing Westfields in Saturday’s FA Vase fourth-round tie.

The much-travelled striker spent a season as player-manager at Morpeth Town alongside Lawrence Appleby, the ex-Hereford United kitman.

Benjamin, who turns 35 years old next month, still lives in the north-east and is awaiting a knee replacement operation.

“Morpeth Town have got a good name up here in the north-east of England and the FA Vase is a well-respected competition in this region,” said Benjamin.

“I was a player-manager at Morpeth but they are are now in a much better position off the field than when I was there. The chairman has put money into the club.

“When I took over as a manager at Morpeth – I called it jumping ship.

“I went from playing, which I call a good side to the dark side, which is managing.

“When you are a manager, your interaction with players gets less and less. As a manager, you see a different side to things.

“A lot of former players have gone into management – and good on them.

“I would like to be a football manager – but it’s not really me.”

Kettering-born Benjamin was at Morpeth Town between August 2010 and May 2011.

The club are known as The Highwaymen and are 18th in the Ebac Northern League Division One.

Morpeth play home matches at Craik Park, at Morpeth Common, and the pitch is surrounded by a 400-metre cinder track.

Benjamin believes Sean Edwards’ Westfields side are in for a tough afternoon.

“The FA Vase is a massive thing for clubs in the north-east,” said Benjamin.

“Bedlington Terriers and Blyth Spartans are other clubs in the region with a strong tradition in the FA Vase and there are some good players.

“I think Morpeth are probably favourites to beat Westfields but it’s a one-off game and you never know what could happen in a one-off match.

“The pitch wasn’t the greatest when I was at Morpeth and the club tends to get home gates of around 100 people. It is a long trip and it will be tough for Westfields.”

Benjamin once played in the Premier League with Leicester City after being signed for £1.5 million from Cambridge United.

He had a memorable season with Hereford United, scoring 11 goals to help Graham Turner’s side to promotion to League One in April 2008.

He was involved in a car accident and suffered a severe eye infection but United enjoyed a run to the fourth round of the FA Cup.

Benjamin was released by Hereford just days after the promotion from League Two but he still keeps abreast of the Bulls’ results.

He is saddened by their financial plight.

“I played for a lot of clubs but Hereford are a club dear to my heart,” said Benjamin.

“We had a good team and we had a lot of young players, who were hungry for success. We had other experienced players liked me who helped the youngsters.

“It was a fantastic season at Hereford and it put so many smiles on the faces of people in Hereford and, hopefully, that will happen again for the club one day.

“I remember telling the younger players at the time to make the most of the promotion celebrations. Open-top bus trips around the city and promotions don’t happen all the time in football.

“It was a special day and it’s one that I fondly remember.

“I keep my eye out for the results – I am a big Arsenal fan but I always look out for Hereford’s results and I follow Hereford United’s news on Twitter.”

Benjamin says he has no immediate plans to return to the football field – but he is still involved in the sport.

He now runs a football glove brand called LocustUK, whose gloves are worn by former Liverpool stopper Chris Kirkland.

“I don’t like goalkeepers – I never have – and I wanted to score past them all the time,” admitted Benjamin.

“There are three of us involved in the development company and it takes up a lot of my time. I am too busy at the moment to think about playing football and I am also awaiting a major knee operation.”

* You can follow Trevor Benjamin’s new goalkeeping glove brand company on Twitter @LocustUK

Trevor’s Football League odyssey

Trevor Benjamin was born in Kettering on February 8, 1979,

His footballing career began at Cambridge United and took in 16 League clubs.

The full list is:

Cambridge United

Leicester City

Crystal Palace (loan)

Norwich City (loan)

West Brom (loan)

Gillingham (loan)

Rushden (loan)

Brighton (loan)

Northampton Town (loan)

Northampton Town

Coventry City


Watford (loan)

Swindon Town (loan)

Boston United (loan)

Walsall (loan)

Hereford United.

He also played international football for England Under-21 and Jamaica.