Player of Year Ben says Torquay United move was ‘best in career’

Torquay United's Ben Whitfield. Photo: Steve Bond/PPAUK

Torquay United's Ben Whitfield. Photo: Steve Bond/PPAUK - Credit: Steve Bond/Pinnacle

Player of Year Ben says United move was 'best in career'

NEW Torquay United Player Of The Year Ben Whitfield says that signing for the Gulls has been 'the best move of my career'.

Whitfield - keen golfer Ben learned of his award as he was about to win a match in his native Yorkshire - joined the Gulls last September from Port Vale, continuing a nomadic career.

After spells with Bradford City and Guiseley as a teenager, he spent four years at AFC Bournemouth, including seasons on loan at Kidderminster Harriers, Yeovil Town and Vale, before moving to Vale permanently in 2018.

He fell out with Valiants manager John Askey and says: 'I wasn't wanted at Port Vale, and moving to Torquay was to prove some people wrong.'

He added: 'I've loved every minute of it, and this award is brilliant news.

'If I hadn't made the move here, who knows where I would have ended up?

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'If I was a home boy, I would probably have signed for a Conference North club and, with all due respect, something like this would never have happened for me.

'But I've been away from home before at Bournemouth and Yeovil, so I had no worries coming to Torquay.'

He praised United boss Gary Johnson.

He said: 'The gaffer has got the best out of me.'

And he was quick to add: 'Now I just want to do even better next season.'

It's actually the second Player of the Year title of Whitfield's career - he won the same award at Kidderminster in 2016.

Johnson in turn praised Whitfield.

He said: 'Ben is so adaptable, he's a great asset to the squad and I'm very pleased that he's won the award.'

Whitfield made 32 appearances and scored seven goals came from almost every forward position.

He scooped just over half the votes in the poll jointly organised by the Torbay Weekly and United.

Recently-departed leading scorer Jamie Reid, who won in 2019, was second and Ben Wynter third.

Right-back Wynter was voted Young Player Of The Year, ahead of midfielders Matt Buse and Jake Andrews.