Athlone's Robbie signs new contract at St Patrick's Athletic
Athlone footballer Robbie Benson has signed a new contract to remain at St Patrick's Athletic for the 2021 League of Ireland season.
The Inchicore outfit announced today that it agreed a deal with the 28-year-old midfielder for what will be his second season at St Pat's, a club he joined after four successful campaigns with Dundalk.
Robbie, a native of Mayfield Grove who started his League of Ireland career with Athlone Town, said he was keen to get going after a "frustrating" and "stop-start" year in 2020.
He acknowledged that he will have to wait a little longer, however, after it was recently announced that this year's Premier Division season won't kick off until March 19 at the earliest.
"I'm very happy to get (the contract) done and just really excited to get going," he said.
"We should be back training for pre-season around this time but there's another delay now with the season being pushed back, which is frustrating, especially when myself and other lads have been doing a bit of training ourselves in the off-season with an aim to start around now."
The St Pat's manager, and Robbie's former teammate at Dundalk, Stephen O'Donnell, said he was "delighted" the Athlone man was remaining at the club.
"Like many of our players I felt that, in the last seven or eight games of the (2020) season, Robbie really excelled and came into his own," he said.
"He gives us great energy levels in midfield, and can press with intensity and win the ball back high up the pitch in dangerous positions."
The manager said he would be looking for a consistently strong season from Robbie this year.
"I suppose the aim for Robbie is to go and establish himself as one of the top midfielders in the country, something he's well capable of doing, as he's shown previously," he said.
"He will be one of the 'elder statesmen' in the group, something he mightn't be used to, but it's a young squad so that's what I'm expecting from him.
"I'm delighted to keep him on board because a player of that ability in today's game would attract plenty of interest."
St Pat's announced the resigning of Robbie Benson and Lee Desmond with the following video on Twitter:
SIGNINGS | Desmond & Benson Return For 2021!— St Patrick's Athletic FC (@stpatsfc) January 8, 2021
Lee Desmond & Robbie Benson have both signed new contracts
This will be Lee’s 7th season as a Saint while Robbie is getting ready for his 2nd!
The lads & Head Coach Stephen O’Donnell have been giving us their reaction #Saints2021 pic.twitter.com/YH7h91JVIZ