Alan Bennett

#78688276 / gettyimages.com

Alan Bennett is an Irish defender who was born in Cork on 4th October 1981. Bennett began his career in midfield, before later switching to centre back. He was a Cork regular for over six years, and represented the club in the early stages of the UEFA Cup and Champions League. He was one of the star men for 'Rebel Army' in their 2005 league championship winning season.

Bennett won his first full international cap for Republic of Ireland on 24th May 2007 in a 1-1 draw with Ecuador. He picked up a second cap two days later in a draw with Bolivia.

Bennett signed for Premiership Reading in January 2007 in a two and a half year deal. He failed to make a single first team appearance for The Royals before he was loaned to Southampton on 31st July 2007. Bennett's debut for Saints couldn't have possibly gone any worse. He was at fault for every goal in the club's 4-1 home defeat to Crystal Palace on 11th August 2007, and looked completely out of his depth. He was only slightly better two days later in Southampton's 2-1 loss to Peterborough in the League Cup. Bennett spent the next two months on the sidelines, but returned on 21st October for a home match with Cardiff. Many fans in St Marys gasped with horror when they heard Bennett's name announced on the team sheet, but the Irishman surprised everyone with a very composed performance, helping Saints to a 1-0 win. He formed a good defensive partnership with Andrew Davies, and continued to play well until returning to Reading in January 2008. Bennett joined League 2 side Brentford on loan in March 2008, and scored his first goal in English football for The Bees on 12th April 2008 in a 2-2 draw with Bradford.

Bennett returned to Griffin Park on 8th August 2008, spending the entire 2008/09 campaign on loan at Brentford. The Irish defender played in nearly every match for Andy Scott's side, picking up a League 2 Championship winners medal. After being released from Reading in the summer of 2009, Bennett signed a permanent deal with Brentford on 30th July 2009. A few months into the 2009/10 season however, he lost his place in the first team. Bennett was loaned to Wycombe on 16th February 2010.

Bennett joined Wycombe on a permanent basis on 23rd July 2010. He played 20 times for the Adams Park side in another League 2 promotion winning season in 2010/11.

On 4th July 2011 Bennett signed a one year deal with Cheltenham. He helped the club reach the League 2 play-off final, where they lost 2-0 to Crewe. Bennett also played at White Hart Lane in a 3-0 FA Cup 3rd round defeat to Tottenham. He continued to play for Cheltenham during the first half of the 2012/13 campaign, before having his contract terminated by mutual consent in January 2013. On 31st January 2013 Bennett signed for AFC Wimbledon. He helped the club survive the drop to the Conference.