Born in Telford, Shropshire lad Elliott Bennett made the permanent move to Montgomery Waters Meadow at the beginning of the 2021/22 summer transfer window following a successful five-year spell with Blackburn Rovers.
Bringing four years of Premier League experience, and nine years of Sky Bet Championship education to the Salop squad, the versatile defender added a wealth of knowledge to the Town back line. Having earned promotion from Sky Bet League One on two occasions with Rovers and Brighton & Hove Albion, the right-wing-back brings a winning mentality to the Salop starting 11.
Having worked with Steve Cotterill during a loan spell in the 2015/16 season at Bristol City, the now 33-year-old was named the Shrewsbury Town vice-captain prior to last season’s commencement. Now looking to achieve success in his home county, Elliott is enjoying life in SY2 and hopes to give the Salopian family memories to savour and a season to enjoy.
“Not having fans at games wasn’t what anyone wanted, it feels like a training session when they aren’t there,” said Elliott. “The extra push you get from them is vital – even when you aren’t doing well. People work hard for their money, whether that’s a 9-5 or any kind of job. People work incredibly hard to earn enough money to watch their club and there isn’t any bigger honour to represent my county and the people of this county.
“The Salopian family spend big sums of their own money to watch us play. It’s an honour to play football in front of people who are willing to pay to watch you play. It’s important to me that we do well and try to give people things to smile about.
“I’ve had a fantastic time at all of the clubs I’ve been at. Travelling around the country has been amazing for my wife and me but it was important for me to come back home. I wanted to give back to my family after they’ve given so much to me over the course of my career. I am really, really happy to be a Shrewsbury Town player. I’m not here to just see out the final years of my career, I want to play as long as I can and play at the best level possible.
“My children recently started school and that’s a massive thing in their young lives. I’m fortunate that the Gaffer allows me to come in ten minutes late so I can drop them off. Things like that are massively important to me.
“It feels really good to have that football and family balance now that I’m closer to home. It’s great to be around my family more and I feel like that is doing good things for my football. I want to keep giving my all to this football club.
“There is a really good group of lads here and I obviously know the Gaffer having worked with him before. The transition has been seamless. “
Elliott also hopes his wisdom and experience at the top level can benefit the Salopian dressing room as Steve Cotterill’s men look to put points on the board.
“I’m just the way I always am,” said the defender. “Captain, vice-captain, it doesn’t mean I change who I am; I demand high standards anyway. I try to be a good example and try to do the right things in and around the training ground so people can follow that example.
“With the younger lads, you don’t want to say too much and sound like the ‘old pro’ that I grew up around. It’s cliché, but your football career goes so fast. Here I am now at 33 and it’s gone so fast. I always try to make sure everyone works as hard as possible. I’ve never had the most ability; I wasn’t even in the top three in my youth group at Wolves. You can do anything with the right determination and mindset.
“If you’re going to do anything in life, you need to dedicate yourself and do the best job possible. You can’t always be the best, but you can be the best version of yourself.”