Ben Szreter fulfils FA Cup ambition with Cambridge City
Cambridge United Community Trust chief executive dons goalkeeping gloves for Lilywhites
Ben Szreter answered an FA Cup SOS for Cambridge City on Saturday.
More often seen as the public face of the Cambridge United Community Trust as chief executive, the 24-year-old swapped his suit for goalkeeping gloves.
He stepped into the City breach to face Brightlingsea Regent after regular No 1 Liam Gooch had been sent-off against Didcot Town.
Szreter has not played regularly since his time at Oxford University in 2016, but having practised with Soham Town Rangers last season, he has been training with City since pre-season.
“I just train each week and give them an extra keeper in training for drills and do some goalkeeper stuff with Liam each week which is obviously helpful for him to have another keeper to do it with,” said Szreter.
“I hadn’t actually seen that Liam had been sent-off in the previous game, so I wasn’t really aware of it and then Robbie [Nighingale, City’s manager] sent me a text in midweek saying was I available on Saturday and if so would I like to play.
“I immediately said yes and that if they were happy for me to play, then I was keen to play.
“I wasn’t expecting it to be honest. I was really pleased that Robbie felt able to put his faith in me to play in such an important game, I’m just disappointed we couldn’t get the result.”
It was a 4-3 defeat for City against the Isthmian League, Premier Division side, with a red card for defender Jordan Gent hindering their cause.
“I was glad I could help in some way, although obviously the result was a bit disappointing,” he said.
“It’s my first game in the FA Cup so I was pretty excited for that, and I probably didn’t ever expect to play in the FA Cup.
“It was a real buzz to be out on the pitch again and to play in an FA Cup game is a real dream to be honest.
“It was a good experience, and I was just disappointed we couldn’t get a result for the club.
“My parents were really excited as well and came down to watch, so it’s a massive footballing ambition half completed – just getting a win in the FA Cup now would be a final football ambition.”
He added: “I’m happy to be available for any other games they might need me for. Hopefully if I get put in that position again then we will be able to get a good result for the lads next time.”