Born in Neath, just outside Swansea, Ben had just turned 21 when he swapped everything he knew both in football and life to move from Wales to London in July, 2014. He’d been in Swansea’s Academy set-up since the age of 14, making his Swans debut at 19.
“It certainly toughens you up, as it would do in any line of work,” said Ben of the move. “It’s worked out great. It couldn’t be better.”
The full-back’s performances have been recognised further now with a new contract until 2021. “It’s a fantastic Club to be a part of at the moment and the way we’re working on the training pitch and the way we’re playing the games you can only see it getting better,” he said.
“I always wanted to play football and to play for one of the biggest clubs in the Premier League and even the world is an unbelievable achievement. This new contract means I’ll be here even longer, which is great.”
Below: Ben celebrates his first Spurs goal in the FA Cup against Villa in January
Let’s go back to 2014, Mauricio Pochettino had also just joined the Club - what’s a ride it’s been since then!
Ben: “If you’d have told me this before the start of my career I would probably have been in shock, I wouldn’t have believed it. The gaffer has taken us from strength to strength and that is showing on the pitch.”
How was that first pre-season?
Ben: “It was hard work but that is nothing less than we expected. Everyone is willing to work hard and if they didn’t, they wouldn’t be here. That’s what it’s about, putting the effort in, giving your all every day and the results will show.”
You’ve fought it out with Danny Rose for the left-back slot and he is now seen as one of best left-backs around. Did you see it panning out that way?
Ben: “Yes, of course. When you join a big club it’s never going to be easy and no position on the field is just going to have one player. That’s the way football is going now, every team has big squads and when you get an opportunity, you have to be ready to come in and show what you can do. I think I’ve improved as a player, I think Danny has as well and we just keep pushing each other every day.”
Below: Ben speaks to Spurs TV
There seems to be a bond between both sets of full-backs, Kyle Walker and Kieran Trippier as well…
Ben: “We all get on well, everyone in this team is behind each other 100 per cent whether or not you are out there on the pitch. That comes from the training pitch. We do a lot of drills together as full-backs and it’s paying off for the Club.”
I guess if you weren’t all together, it wouldn’t work…
Ben: “We work hard together, we do a lot of tough training and it’s the mentality we’ve got in the squad that allows us to do that every day and that helps us on the field.”
How would you describe that togetherness in the squad?
Ben: “It’s that belief we’ve got in each other to work hard every day and to be ready for every game and that only comes when every single team-mate is pushing you.”
The team looks in a good place at the moment…
Ben: “Yes, it’s going to be an exciting end to the season. We’re in a good position and we’ve set ourselves up well to try and kick on now. Of course it will be tough at the end of the season in the Premier League but we have to take each game as it comes and try to win every single one.”
Below: Ben pictured at Hotspur Way on Thursday
Is what happened last season a driving force this time around?
Ben: “It’s definitely something we’re aware of but we can’t dwell on that too much. The games will be tough and there is a lot to fight for but it’s important we don’t slip up and we’re focused on every game.”
We’re in a fantastic run of form at home, some of the performances at the Lane have been special this season…
Ben: “Yes, White Hart Lane has been great for us this season. We just seem to be clicking every time we play there, picking up good results with good performances. That’s down to the work we’re putting in, the preparation before games and going out there and delivering on the field.”
Your contract runs to 2021 - where would you like to see this team then?
Ben: “That’s tough! Our aim is to win trophies and win the Premier League, hopefully. Of course we all realise how tough that is but we’ll keep going, keep working hard and you never know what could happen.”
How much does this group want to win something?
Ben: “That’s what is driving us on, winning something, because you want to look back at your career with trophies.”