Ben Hamer: Goalkeeper 'learning again' as he aims to seize Swansea City chance

Steven Benda played the first five games of Swansea City's league campaign before losing his place to Ben Hamer
Steven Benda (right) played the first five games of Swansea City's league campaign before losing his place to Ben Hamer (left)

Ben Hamer says he is "learning again" under head coach Russell Martin after being handed a chance to claim the goalkeeper shirt at Swansea City.

Hamer, 33, made his Swansea league debut in Saturday's goalless draw with Hull City, eight months after signing from Huddersfield Town.

The ex-Leicester City player hopes to prove he can be the ball-playing keeper Martin's possession-based game demands.

"With time I will get better at it," Hamer said.

"And hopefully the team will feel more confident with me in goal."

Reading academy product Hamer has racked up more than 350 first-team appearances in a career which has also featured spells at Crawley Town, Brentford, Exeter City, Charlton Athletic, Nottingham Forest, Bristol City and Derby County.

But he has not often been asked to play the sort of football Martin is looking to produce at Swansea.

Martin wants a sweeper keeper who can start attacks and cope with opponents pressing high up the field, something Steven Benda struggled with at times having started the season in Swansea's goal.

"Even when Leicester won the Premier League, we didn't really play free-flowing football - there was a lot of counter-attack," Hamer said.

"When I went to Huddersfield, Carlos Corberan was a very, very good coach. He demanded that the keeper played out, fixing strikers and taking one of the opposition out of the game.

"I was used to it last year. I played a lot of in the first six months.

"But once you don't play for a while you start to forget it. It's a little bit different to how Huddersfield were playing [at Swansea]. I am learning again."

Hamer accepted when moving to Wales he was not going to dislodge former Swansea loanee Freddie Woodman - now back at Newcastle United - immediately, and says Benda was given a first chance to stake his claim by Martin "on merit" this season.

Hamer made his first Swansea appearance in the EFL Cup win over Plymouth in August and, having kept a clean sheet against Hull, will keep the shirt for Wednesday's Championship visit of Millwall.

He is one of a number of players in Martin's squad who have had Covid-19 and believes the disease has taken its toll in the opening weeks of the season.

"We still need to build fitness up," Hamer added. "There have been quite a few cases of Covid and the lads have struggled with it. I am one of them.

"I have found training really tough coming back. Where usually I breeze through sessions, I am blowing quite a bit. I think for the lads out on the pitch it's even harder because they are covering 10-11 kilometres.

"Once they get that fitness, I think we'll be a very good side."

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