A first season at National League level, helping hometown Weymouth to a creditable finish and scoring his first senior goal – Brennan Camp has made the most of an at times challenging year.
The 20-year-old defender made 33 appearances for the Terras in the fifth tier, having previously gained experience on loan with Portland United, Poole Town, Dorchester Town and then Weymouth in the National League South last season.
Stepping up with the Terras to the higher level, Camp’s side took a while to settle with just a point from their opening four games, becoming increasingly competitive as the season progressed and ultimately finishing 18th under the management of former Cherries midfielder Brian Stock.
Speaking with afcb.co.uk, Camp reviewed his loan campaign, which included having to come to grips with the higher level and, of course, a global pandemic.
“Looking back now we’ve all been saying how long the season was and it’s certainly the most ruthless season I’ve been a part of,” he began.
“In November the whole team came back from Stockport with Covid, that put us out for two weeks, there was all the trouble around the league about whether it was going to be able to end or not.
“It’s been long, but a great learning curve for me. It was the club’s first year back in the National League for a while so it was always going to be a tough start but after a few games we got used to the football and the teams with the style they were playing.
“The manager brought quite a few players to the club in January and we started to push up the table and pull clear of the drop zone.
“It’s been a pretty big challenge for me but I’ve loved every minute of it.”
BECOMING A FIRST TEAM MAINSTAY
Starting the majority of games for the side when available, the defender explained his not-so-secret recipe to ensuring his manager kept faith with him during a long season.
He said: “With me, I think that if you show everyone that you’re giving everything you’ll put yourself in with a shout.
“Luckily enough for me, I’ve been able to play most games. I’ve had a few injuries through the season but in every game I’ve left everything out on the pitch – I can’t recall many bad games so that’s a positive!”
PICKING OUT A HIGHLIGHT
Across the season Camp also had two chances to take on rivals Yeovil Town in the Terras’ colours, but while losing both games, the defender enjoyed the much-anticipated experiences.
“We’ve had quite a few big games,” he said. “The derby was something that I always wanted to play in growing up. It’s a big rivalry and you could tell with all the players being up for it.
“Then there was my last game of the season away at Notts County, playing in front of over 4,000 fans the atmosphere was so good.
“Even though the result wasn’t that good that day, those are the type of games you want to be playing in, I really enjoyed that.”
There was also the matter of a first senior goal, a well-taken volley in the 4-0 win over Wealdstone in March, as Camp detailed: “I was getting stick from all the lads there saying I hadn’t scored yet – and then that one went in.
“I always try and get forwards to get that goal from right-back, but I’m glad I got that one and when it went in you could tell from the celebration how much it meant. It was a good win as well, 4-0, so that was a great day for me.”
LOOKING TO THE FUTURE
With another season in the books for the young defender, sights are already turning to 2021/22 and further opportunities to impress, be it back with his parent club or further afield.
“In the last two or three years I’ve been out on loan at a good level. I think I’ve proved that I can play in the men’s game and can play at any level, physically and mentally,” he said.
“I’ll be back with Bournemouth in pre-season and will try to hit the ground running, whether that’s another good loan or giving it a good crack with my aspirations to get in the first team with Bournemouth, which is what I’d love to do.”
Photos supplied courtesy of Mark Probin.