STEVEN Benda considers himself very lucky to have joined Swindon Town on loan from Swansea City – not only due to the similar playing style, but also because the goalkeeper feels he is now much better equipped to deal with the pressures of the professional game.

The 21-year-old joined Richie Wellens’ men on a season-long loan at the start of the season and has made 18 appearances – keeping seven clean sheets – since replacing Luke McCormick midway through October.

Before arriving at the County Ground, the German had never been out on loan before and his only playing experience came in the form of under-23 football with the Swans’ academy.

Now midway through a maiden spell away from the Liberty Stadium, Benda said he will instruct any of his young Swansea teammates to venture out in order to make sure they are more suitably prepared for a career in the professional game.

He said: “I feel quite lucky about the teams in England I have played for.

“When you think about League Two, you don’t expect to see a team like Swindon who tries to play good football, so I count myself very lucky to have come here and try to develop my game.

“The biggest area of improvement for me though has been being able to deal with the pressure because you don’t have that in under 23s – the coaches are happy for you to make mistakes so that you learn from it.

“Whereas now, every weekend you’re playing for points, and there’s a lot of money involved.

“There is a lot more pressure in the professional game.”

Before being plucked from 1860 Munich’s academy at the age of 18, Benda admitted he knew very little about England’s lower leagues.

However, having now played in League Two for a number of months, the Stuttgart-born stopper has noticed many similarities between the two countries’ leagues.

He said: “Growing up in Germany, English football had a reputation of being a physical game with a lot of long balls.

“But then when I came here, I saw the Premier League teams try and play good football.

“It’s the same in Germany though – lower league teams often play more long balls because not everyone is as talented as they are in the Bundesliga, for example.

“So you know what’s going to happen more often than not in League One and League Two.”