Dudzinski keen to retain his No1 status with the Hawks

Hawks goalkeeper Ben Dudzinski Picture: Keith Woodland
Hawks goalkeeper Ben Dudzinski Picture: Keith Woodland
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Ben Dudzinski has waited long enough for his Hawks chance and is determined to make the most of it now it has arrived.

The goalkeeper was handed his debut for the National League side’s recent draw at Ebbsfleet, and has been an ever-presence since, playing three games.

Dudzinski replaced the vastly-experienced Ryan Young in goal, with the former AFC Telford stopper dropped for the first time since joining the club in 2014.

Manager Lee Bradbury felt it was time to give the 23-year-old his opportunity.

And after an understandably nervous start in his first game, the keeper has steadily grown in confidence.

Now Dudzinski is keen to make the most of his opportunity.

'I have had to be patient but I am really enjoying playing,' said the former Lowestoft Town stopper.

'After working hard for a long time I have eventually got my chance.

'It was a case of keeping my head down and doing everything I could to get into the team.

'You want to be playing but you still had a role to play making sure you were ready.

'I just need to make sure that I take it now.

'It has been an enjoyable few games and the performances from the team have been good.

'Now all we need to do is convert it into more points.

'The three games have been good and have learned a lot already about playing in the National League.

'It is quick, you have to remain focused and you can't switch off.

'I have felt confident and have been pleased with my performances.

'As the Solihull game showed, too, it can be cruel at times.'

Dudzinski is the first to value the experience of training alongside a goalkeeper as experienced as Young.

He feels he has learned a lot from the veteran custodian.

Previously, Dudzinski studied for a sports science degree at Durham University.

He enjoyed playing university football, feeling it was a higher standard than he expected.

The south London-based player then joined up with Lowestoft Town in the Ryman League, where he was spotted by Bradbury.

Like the rest of the team, Dudzinski was gutted to concede a winning goal against Solihull deep into stoppage-time last Saturday.

'We had been controlling the game in the second half,' he added.

'Then they got a half-chance which I deflected onto the post.

'When he (the Solihull goalscorer) hit the rebound it has hit my hand and on a really dry pitch bounced up and spun inside the post.

'We deserved to get at least a point from the game.'