Having cut his teeth in the lower leagues, Ryan Bennett had played across all four top divisions in English football prior to his Molineux move.
Each transfer provided more experiences, and a couple of promotions along the way, which stood him in good stead for his latest career chapter in gold and black. Now he discusses his life before Wolves.
PORTMAN ROAD PRODUCT
Ipswich Town | 1996-2006
When I was there it was one of the best Academies, the facilities were top class. We had Darren Bent and Darren Ambrose coming through. I was playing years above myself there, but I’d never look back with disappointment because things have gone alright for me. Maybe I’d look at it with a different perspective if things didn’t go as well, but every club I’ve been at I’d speak fondly of. Although I played for Norwich, there’s not a bad word I can say about Ipswich.
LEAGUE TWO GROUNDING
Grimsby Town | 2006-2010
Looking back, Grimsby was probably the most fun time I had. I’d been released by Ipswich so went there a bit disillusioned – I was young and out of school. The woman who I lived with was brilliant, she taught me everything I needed to know including cooking. It was the best thing that could have happened to me, I’m really grateful and look back at that time fondly. I played about 100 games, I still go back because my wife is from there, so it’s nice to go past the ground.
UNDERDOGS AT POSH
Peterborough United | 2010-2012
I owe a great deal of gratitude to Peterborough. It wasn’t a big, big move but they gave me a chance. Without sounding disrespectful, it’s a stepping stone club, but a lot of players have been given a chance there. The manager Darren Ferguson was great to me and it’s what I needed at that stage. I got games under my belt and had some great seasons with great players. If we’d kept that team together longer we could have been a surprise package. We were promoted from League One and I left halfway through the next season. We had Lee Tomlin, George Boyd, Craig Mackail-Smith, then they brought in great players after me, so it would have interesting if everyone stayed together.
REACHING THE TOP
Norwich City | 2012-2017
This was a big move. I went into the Premier League under Paul Lambert and I was young at the time. I spent five-and-a-half years there which is the longest I’ve been at any club. I settled there and I’ll go back when I finish. Even with what happened when I got released, there was never any animosity. They called me in and told me everything in 30 seconds - it was as simple as that, we shook hands and moved on. I still look out for their results, one of my best mates is the kit man, and it’s a great club.
Peterborough, Norwich & Wolves | 2011, 2015 & 2018
The promotion at Peterborough was a big thing at the time and got us back to the Championship. We went through the Play-Offs which is the best way to do it if you can guarantee promotion. The Norwich promotion, I’d got injured earlier in the season against Ipswich and missed the season. You feel part of it but deep down you know you’ve not contributed as much as others. However, last year as a player I don’t think you can top the way we did it. I played a big part in a season where we were always doing well, and obviously we got some big wins. I think you’d really struggle to replicate that as a season.