Dario says young goalkeeper Ben Garratt more than repaid the faith the boss showed him in
Dario Gradi says he is not surprised to see Ben Garratt fulfil his promise as a talented young goalkeeper and the club’s Director of Football also praised manager Steve Davis for being bold enough to play him.
Davis promoted the promising youngster ahead of the vastly experienced Steve Phillips and his unique temperament was a major part in seeing us safe last season. Nothing seemed to faze the Academy graduate and although he now faces stiff competition from summer signing Scott Shearer, Dario is delighted to see Garratt arguably become the most successful ever goalkeeper to emerge from our famed youth set-up.
Dario told crewealex.net: “Ben has always been a talented sportsman. He is very good at golf and played a bit of cricket.
“He is also an outstanding young goalkeeper, who has shown that he can dominate his six yard box, come for crosses and is agile enough to get those shots destined for the top corners. He made some exceptional saves last season.
“I went to the Shrewsbury game at the end of last season and there was a lot riding on the game because we were both down there. When I saw the team-sheet and saw Shaun Miller’s name, I thought here we go he is bound to score against us.
“Shaun had a great shot early on in that game and Ben made a fantastic save. It made a big difference to that game because if they had gone 1-0 up and got their crowd on their side then the outcome could have been very different. That is what being a good goalkeeper is about, making big saves at crucial moments in a match.
“I’ve always said that a good goalkeeper will save the shots he should and get some that he really shouldn’t. Ben is a young goalkeeper but he has shown that he can do that.
“Saying that I thought Steve (Davis) was bold to play him. He showed great faith in him at an important time of the season but Ben flourished. Steve has been brave to put some of our kids in and he deserves great credit for that.
Dario added: “In certain circumstances he has been a lot braver than I would have been and I was delighted it paid off.”