Ben ready to build in 2016-17
11 August 2016|Tottenham Hotspur
With the start of the 2016-17 season almost upon us, Ben Davies hopes his experiences with Wales in France over the summer will stand him in good stead for the big games to come at club level.
The left-back was an instrumental figure in the Welsh side that won the hearts of football fans across the globe with their brave run to the semi-finals of Euro 2016, in what was their first appearance at a major tournament since 1958.
Along with his international colleagues, Ben received a hero’s welcome upon returning to Cardiff following his side’s exit at the hands of eventual champions Portugal, with an open top bus parade put on in recognition of the team’s efforts.
Now, as we prepare to kick-off a new Premier League season with a trip to Everton, who have just signed Wales skipper Ashley Williams from Swansea City, Ben is looking to draw on his endeavours on the international stage in a bid to help us make progress on the domestic front…
Can your recent experiences with Wales work to your – and our – advantage this season?
Ben Davies: “I hope so. The matches we played in the Euros were massive so it’s nice to have that big game experience and hopefully when the opportunities come here at Spurs I’ll be able to take them.”
Obviously you’re focused on the start of the Premier League now, but it must still be nice to have your summer achievements in the back of your mind…
Ben: “Yes, we can look back with pride but there’s still that little bit of ‘what if?’ and the question of what if we’d put in a better performance in the semis like we know that we’re capable of. In hindsight we’re definitely proud of what we did but there’s always going to be that thought of ‘we could have done a little bit more.’”
Everton have just swooped for a key member of your Wales side – and your former captain at Swansea – in the form of Ashley Williams. Their manager has suggested he won’t feature against us, but presumably you’ll hope to chat to him at Goodison Park anyway…
Ben: “Yes, it will be the first time that I’ve seen him since those good times that we had after the tournament so it will be good to catch up with him. I think it’s a nice move for him, going there. He’s a top player, he’s shown that in the years he’s been playing for Swansea and Wales and from when I’ve played with him I’ve got nothing but good things to say about him. When I was coming through the ranks at Swansea it was nice to have somebody like him next to me who’s got that experience and leadership about him. He’s 31 now and he’s probably got the aim where he wants to go as far as he can and I think Everton is a good club for him. He’s going to be a good asset for them.”
How do you feel about taking on Everton in our opening game of the season?
Ben: “They’re going to be a good, well-organised side, especially with their new manager who they’re going to be out to impress so it’s going to be a hard game but it’s one that we’ll be ready for. Any game away from home in this league is tough, especially with the quality that the league has got so it’s going to be hard but it’s one we’re excited for and we’re going to be ready for it. Hopefully we can get a better result than last time at Goodison.”