Defender Ben saw plenty of the Academy boys who broke into the second string as he waited patiently for his first-team chance last season.
And he liked what he saw. Ben said: "There are a few younger lads there like Paul O'Donoghue, Ronnie Henry, Ben Bowditch, Dean Marney and I like the lad up front as well, Lee Barnard, they've a good few kids and in 18 months or so when they get stronger, more physical, they will do well. It's a credit to Patsy and Jimmy."
Ben is aware of how important the reserve set-up is. He was a regular in the side at the start of the season until grabbing his chance in February - starting 14 of our last 17 fixtures.
He added: "For a start, Colin Calderwood is different class. The lads love him.
"You've got kids coming through, older players and players coming back from injuries. It's one of the hardest jobs at the club.
"I remember when I played for the reserves at Millwall and the younger lads look up to the older players and if you don't put it in, it doesn't bode well for them.
"You have to use it for fitness and make sure you do well.
"Members of the staff watch the games and if you are doing well they will tell the gaffer.
"You get that step up onto the bench and then it's up to you if someone gets injured or suspended to get in and do as well as you can."
Ben Thatcher believes the future is bright with the crop of youngsters ready to move up to the reserve team.