Dollah Kassim Award nominee Benjamin has the attitude to match his skills
Teen impresses with his skills and brilliant attitude
Benjamin Davis is not your average 15-year-old footballer.
Not for him the usual suspects like Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo as his favourite footballer; instead he picks Paris St Germain midfielder Javier Pastore as his top inspiration.
And, unlike his peers, the National Football Academy (NFA) Under-15s midfielder has also clocked some air miles in a bid to enrich his talent as he works towards fulfilling his dream of playing professionally in Europe.
Benjamin, who was born in Thailand and has resided in the United States, has trained and played tournaments in England, France, Sweden, Japan, China, Hong Kong and Vietnam.
"I'm thankful for the opportunities and it's good to know people from different countries and cities and learn about their football and culture," said the youngster, who is one of the nominees for The New Paper Dollah Kassim Award 2015.
"It was great to play at the 2012 Gothia Cup with teammates of different nationalities and friends I grew up with in our JSSL Arsenal Under-12 team, and playing against sides from other countries.
"I have learnt lessons from all these stints, like how to cope with the weather conditions, how to think on my feet, how to use my head and body to shield the ball."
GUNNER BE THERE
When Benjamin was 12, he had a glimpse of his dream future when he represented JSSL Arsenal in a three-vs-three tournament at the Emirates Stadium in London.
He added: "That was a really good experience for an Arsenal fan.
"It just makes me want to train at a higher level and improve to the point that I'm good enough to play for the Gunners in the English Premier League."
NFA U-15 coach V Selvaraj told TNP that Benjamin may be quiet in nature, but the Singapore Sports School student lets his feet do the talking on the pitch.
The 46-year-old former Singapore international said: "Ben is very well brought up by his family. He has a brilliant attitude on and off the pitch. He listens to instructions and, if there is anything he is not sure of, he is not afraid to ask.
"Ben is the type of intelligent young footballer we need. He holds the ball up well and passes well under pressure, which many boys his age cannot.
"He does very well with one or two touches, has good vision and is composed in front of goal.
"Although he is small-sized and often gets knocked about when our team play against older boys in the Under-18 league, he has no complaints.
"Thanks to his family and the Football Association of Singapore, Ben has had the opportunity to experience football overseas and learn what professional football at a higher level is like."
Earlier this year, Benjamin was in France with Hami Syahin and Muhelmy Suhaimi, last year's winner of The New Paper Dollah Kassim Award and the Singapore Pools Passport to Excellence.
They played friendlies for FC Metz against RC Strasbourg and FC Sarrebourg, winning each game 2-1.
This year, he has the chance to win the award, and he knows exactly what he wants.
He said: "Other than family, football is the most important thing to me.
"To play in Europe is my long-term goal. I've always wanted to train and play in the youth leagues there.
"Winning The New Paper Dollah Kassim Award and the Singapore Pools Passport to Excellence will provide another platform for me to learn and show what I can do."
He has a brilliant attitude on and off the pitch. He listens to instructions and, if there is anything he is not sure of, he is not afraid to ask.
— NFA U-15 coach V Selvaraj on midfielder Benjamin Davis
- NAME: Benjamin James Davis
- DATE OF BIRTH: Nov 24, 2000
- TEAM: NFA Under-15
- POSITION: Central midfielder
- FAVOURITE PLAYER: Javier Pastore
- FAVOURITE CLUB: Arsenal
- PET PEEVE: Cocky know-it-alls
WIN A PS4
PHOTO: COURTESY OF SONY
The New Paper Dollah Kassim Award is back. This year, six of Singapore's brightest football prospects will be vying for the prestigious award for promising youngsters.
You can be a winner too, as we have two Sony PlayStation 4 consoles worth $499 each to give away.
Stand a chance to win by following these simple steps - Follow, Favourite and Retweet #FollowFaveRT
- Step 1: Follow us on @TNPSports on Twitter
- Step 2: Our contest tweet will be hashtagged #TNPIWant
- Step 3: Favourite, retweet our Dollah Kassim Award nominee profiles
The contest ends at 11.59pm tomorrow. The winner will be picked at random, and notified via Twitter before Monday.
Remember, you must be a follower of @TNPSports on Twitter to win.
So what are you waiting for? Start following us @TNPSports for awesome prizes!