BEN Turner couldn’t feel more at home at a football club than he does at Worksop Town.
The full-back, snapped up by Martin McIntosh following his release by Mansfield Town this summer, has signed a one-year contract with Tigers.
And it wasn’t just the manager’s plans for a promotion assault, or the squad he’s assembled, that convinced the 21-year-old to put pen to paper with the world’s fourth oldest club.
He could almost kick a ball from the Sandy Lane ground to his house in Worksop.
Turner explained: “I’m from Rhodesia, Tigers play about a minute from my house.”
“I can’t really grumble, I couldn’t get more local than that.”
A left-sided defender, Turner began his career in the game with Sheffield United, before joining Stags as a teenager.
The former Portland student told the Guardian: “I started at Sheffield United and then went to Mansfield.”
“I had two years YTS there, and then two years as a professional.”
But Turner is well known to Tigers fans having featured – and impressed – against Worksop Town in the Northern Premier League during the last two seasons.
“I was on loan at North Ferriby United for two seasons and really enjoyed it.”
“But I was speaking to Martin over the summer about what they had planned for Worksop, and I wanted to come here.”
Turner will be part of a solid looking defensive line-up at Sandy Lane, alongside fellow Worksop lad Chris Wood, club captain James Cotterill, and towering centre-backs Marc Roberts and Luke Shiels.
Wing-back Steve Gardner, formerly with Hull City, and ex-Leeds United man Callum Williams are also hoping to impress McIntosh and secure a spot in the squad.
With the talent the Scot has attracted to Worksop this summer, and the players retained from last season’s squad, Turner is expecting big things in the Evo-Stik Premier.
“We’ve been in training since the end of June so hopefully we can hit the ground running and get off to a good start,” he said.
“I think we’ve got a really good squad and we should be challenging for the play-offs.”
“I personally think that, with the squad we have there’s no reason we shouldn’t be right up there at the end of the season”
And while other footballers find friendly fixtures not to their taste, the left-back is enjoying pre-season so far.
“It’s nice to get the season going but the friendlies are good to help kick on, get your fitness back.”