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Development Squad

Feature: Billy hopes to fill his boots

AFC Bournemouth AFC Bournemouth

Like father, like son. Except perhaps in the Terrell household.

Had Darren Terrell had his way, son Billy would have been a cultured defender, just like he used to be in his playing days.

Instead, Billy chose goalkeeping as his vocation, a decision which has paid handsome dividends.

On Sunday, the 18-year-old will join up with an England men’s goalkeeping development camp.

It is his reward for catching both the ball and the eye as he has progressed through the AFC Bournemouth academy ranks.

“I wasn’t meant to be a goalkeeper and my dad didn’t want me to be one,” laughed Billy, in an interview for afcb.co.uk.

“I’m the only goalkeeper in my family. My dad and his brother were both centre-backs and were at Southampton when they were young.

“As my dad didn’t get offered anything at Southampton after the under-16s, I think he wanted me to go further than him but not as a goalkeeper.

“Like my dad, I started out as a centre-back and played right-back for my school.

“We went to a tournament and I put up my hand to go in goal and absolutely loved it.

“I don’t think my dad was too happy at the start but he is now. He’s learned a lot from watching me.

“He knows what he’s talking about when it comes to goalkeeping so it’s good to have those conversations.

“There was a time when I wanted to be an outfield player. But my dad sat me down and said ‘look, you’re very talented in goal and I think you should keep going for it’. I’m glad I listened to him!”

Terrell junior started out at Portsmouth before joining hometown club Southampton when he was 13. He also represented Southampton Schools and turned out for Oakwood in the Tyro League.

However, after spending a couple of years in the foundation phase at Southampton, he was not given a scholarship, something the Cherries did offer him following a trial spell.

After impressing during his two-year stay with Alan Connell’s under-18s, Terrell graduated to the development squad and was rewarded for his progress with his first pro contract this summer.

His coaches at Vitality Stadium have included Neil Moss and Anthony White, both now members of the Football Association staff who Terrell will work under during the camp at St George's Park.

Ex-Cherries goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale is one of a number of successful attendees of the camps earlier in his career, as is Jordan Pickford, the man he is challenging for the England number one spot.

Terrell said: “It gives you a real determination when you see what people like Rammers and Mark Travers have achieved.

“I’ve been very fortunate since I’ve been here. Everyone has their different ways of coaching but everyone has been very good and helped me massively.

“Asmir Begovic and big Artur Boruc were both really good with me when they were here as well and the goalkeeping department here is amazing.

“When you go from being a scholar to signing your first pro contract, it’s a different step. You’ve still got to do the same things you did as a scholar but you’ve got more responsibility on yourself and more comes down to you.

“As well as the goalkeeper coaches, I’ve really enjoyed working with Shaun Cooper and Tommy Elphick in the development squad and with Alan Connell in the under-18s.”

Terrell, who lists his goalkeeping idols as Ben Foster and Ederson, is as adept with his feet as he is with his hands and was grateful to a growth spurt as a 15-year-old.

He said: “I was only predicted to be 6ft 1in and now I’m 6ft 4in. I wasn’t one of the smallest but I was just an average height for my age before I had the growth spurt.

“I reckon in 60 to 70 per cent of a game, goalies use their feet. You have to concentrate for the other 30 to 40 per cent for the saves but mostly everything is with your feet. I enjoy the thrill of the composure when the opposition are pressing.

“Ederson sprays the ball around as if he’s a midfield player. He’s so talented with his feet and I don’t think I’ve seen any other goalie like him. And he’s a good shot-stopper as well. 

“Him and Ben Foster are my two goalkeeping idols and for very different reasons. I just love what Foster is about. He’s a great goalkeeper and a great bloke off the pitch.

“He comes across as a down-to-earth guy. I’ve never met him but watch his videos on YouTube. He’s a role model to young goalkeepers.

“Ederson is a no-brainer. He’s the best in the world. I look to him for more on the goalkeeping side but I really enjoy watching Foster.”

Terrell heads to St George's Park on Sunday 7th August and will spend four days being put through his paces by the England coaching staff.

Click through the arrows above to see a selection of pictures of Billy Terrell.

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