Ex-Carlton listed player a bonus recruit for Roosters

EX-CARLTON listed youngster Clinton Benjamin has fallen into the lap of Victorian Football League reigning premier North Ballarat.A desire to play alongside his brother Warren opened the door for the Selkirk Roosters to land the late recruit.A first-year player with North Melbourne, Warren Benjamin is on the Roosters' list as part of their alignment with the Kangaroos.North Ballarat football manager Marg Richards said securing Clinton Benjamin was an unexpected bonus.She said a chance meeting with his parents at a North Melbourne Football Club function had led to Benjamin being signed.Richards said while recruiting "travelling" players was generally against the Roosters' philosophy, Benjamin provided a further opportunity to foster their link with indigenous players.Benjamin, who stands at 189 centimetres, is studying at the University of Melbourne.Originally from Claremont in Western Australia, the 20-year-old spent two injury-marred years with Carlton before being delisted at the end of last season. Former North Ballarat coach Gavin Crosisca, who also had a two-year stint at Carlton as an assistant coach before being sacked last year, said the "laconic" Benjamin had a wealth of talent.He said he was "lightning quick", but unfortunately a series of soft tissue injuries had thwarted any opportunity to fulfill his potential.Benjamin played 13 games with the Blues' VFL affiliate Northern Bullants in 2007 and another 10 last year.He did not make a senior VFL appearance after mid-June last season.Originally from Broome, Benjamin represented Australia in Ireland in an international rules under-17 series before catching the attention of Carlton.Richards said Benjamin had been training by himself for most of the off-season, which meant he was behind the rest of the Roosters' list in fitness.