Benali learns the ropes.

Last updated : 24 May 2002 By Christian Kelly
Francis Benali, now reserved to never seeing a minute of first team football thanks to Wayne Bridge's form, is continuing with his coaching badges and may well have a future at the club beyond his playing years. Franny told the Echo: "I have started taking my coaching badges and will finish them this coming season and it is something I have got in mind.

"But my intention is to play for as long as I can. Fitness wise I have kept myself in good condition and am still capable of doing a job.

"I am starting to think beyond my playing days but I still think I can keep going for at least a couple more seasons.

"I would like think I have got a lot to offer and I that I can give something back to the club. I have been in the reserves all season but have tried to pass on my knowledge and advice to some of the guys and the kids and it is something I enjoy very much."

"With Bridgey doing so well, at this moment in time I am just providing cover for him but if anything were to happen to him then I would just step in," he said.

"It has been a frustrating season and it does hurt not getting on the bench and now I want to try and force my way more into the squad and get more of a run out.

"I would rather the club used me as a player first and foremost but I am going to try and get the badges but I feel I have a few more years in me yet."

Francis is a great player to have in the squad and if nothing else, his loan spell at Notts Forest showed that he can still do an excellent job for the club if needed.