AX 2015 Scandinavian showcase tour participant Jared Bennett has been snapped up by central Finnish outfit AC Kajaani . Despite arriving late on the tour due to travel issues, Bennett quickly made his mark during its second leg.
After just 15 minutes into a 2-1 win over FC Oulu, Juha Malinen , head coach of Premier League side RoPS, recommended Bennett to AC Kajaani. Within 24 hours the Trinidadian had met with the second division side’s coaching staff and was later strutting his stuff on their training pitch.
In the space of seven days, Bennett left Trinidad as an amateur, earned a trial, and then signed his first professional contract. He had previously attended an AX combine in Florida which only fueled his dream for a career in European football.
“It was motivating,” Bennett told AX. “The coaches that were present were easy to speak to and ask for advice. It was the most supportive and professional footballing experience that I have ever had.”
Reading the success stories of Jonathan Glenn and Dominic Adams, fellow Trinibagonian natives, showed him that it was possible, and he would have no hesitation in recommending this route to other aspiring footballers.
“If you really, deep down in the depths of your heart, would like to play at the highest level or a higher level that you currently are: work hard, train hard, ask for constructive advice, keep praying and find an AX combine that is best suited for your schedule. When you attend, be professional and give it your all. If you’re as blessed as I am, your all may just happen to be good enough to impress the right coaches.”
AC Kajaani have strong links to top tier outfit RoPS who are sure to keep an eye on Bennett’s progress throughout the season. RoPS have a great tradition of championing talent from all over the world and look to improve on their comfortable avoidance of relegation last term.