Former AFC Bournemouth striker Josh McQuoid this season added another promotion to his CV when he captained Weymouth to victory in the National South play-offs.
McQuoid, who tasted three promotions during two spells with the Cherries, played a leading role as Mark Molesley’s Terras booked a place in the National League with a penalty shootout victory over Dartford six days ago.
Raised in Lymington, striker McQuoid progressed through the youth ranks at Vitality Stadium and made his debut in March 2007 when he was just 17.
He featured during the Greatest Escape campaign of 2008/09 and won his first promotion when Eddie Howe led the Cherries to League One 12 months later.
After scoring back-to-back hat-tricks for the club and winning his first cap for Northern Ireland all in the space of 11 days in November 2010, McQuoid signed on loan for Championship outfit Millwall, the move made permanent in January 2011.
He reunited with Howe on loan at Burnley in the second half of the 2011/12 season before rejoining Cherries in a swap deal which saw Scott Malone join the Lions in July 2012.
McQuoid won his second promotion with the Cherries in 2012/13 and left the club for Luton soon after Howe had guided the club into the Premier League.
YOUR FIRST APPEARANCE CAME AS A SUBSTITUTE IN A 2-0 WIN AGAINST DONCASTER IN MARCH 2007 BEFORE YOU WAITED MORE THAN A YEAR FOR YOUR FULL DEBUT AGAINST TRANMERE. WHAT ARE YOUR MEMORIES OF THOSE 12 MONTHS?
I was only 17 when I came on against Doncaster and was still a trainee. Making my professional debut was a brilliant moment.
I had to wait a bit longer for my full debut but that was always going to be the case. As a teenager, I didn’t expect to be starting week in, week out.
It was a case of getting my head down and working hard. I was still coming through the ranks and had a lot to learn.
Making my full debut against Tranmere was a great feeling. It was a proud moment and great to have my family there in the crowd.
At the time, we had a lot of young players in the squad. I remember Billy Franks, Matt Finlay, Steve Hutchings, Jamie Davidson and Ryan Pryce being in the squad that day, all youth team players.
Although we were struggling for players and had a very inexperienced team out, we won 2-1.
THAT TRANMERE GAME WAS THE FIRST OF SIX SUCCESSIVE WINS WHICH ALMOST SAW YOU PULL OFF A REMARKABLE ESCAPE FROM RELEGATION HAVING BEEN DOCKED TEN POINTS. THERE MUST HAVE BEEN SOME HIGHS AND LOWS DURING THAT RUN?
It was hugely disappointing to come so close to staying up after what had been thrown at us.
The points deduction was nothing to do with the players but we were the ones who suffered.
We tried to take the positives from it and used it as an experience. We didn’t want it to happen again and wanted to strive to get back to where we were.
Although it nearly happened again in 2008/09, maybe what happened in 2008 helped those of us who were still around. And the following season, we went back up to League One.
WHAT ARE YOUR MEMORIES OF THE GREATEST ESCAPE SEASON?
It was a difficult one for me personally but the experience of being in and around the squad stood me in good stead throughout my career.
I was still learning my trade when Eddie was appointed manager and he used me as and when he needed to.
It was a great learning curve for me so early in my career to see the struggles and adversities of football and how it works behind the scenes.
Eddie helped me massively. He was still young himself and while he thought a lot of all his players, I think he was especially keen to help the younger ones come through because he had been in the same position himself.
YOUR BREAKTHROUGH SEASON COINCIDED WITH PROMOTION IN 2009/10. WHAT WAS IT LIKE SCORING YOUR FIRST GOAL IN THE 4-0 WIN AGAINST PORT VALE?
Although I was credited with the goal, I think it should have been an own goal. It came off my shoulder, hit someone else and went in!
I would never class it as my first professional goal, even though it went down in the record books as mine. I peeled away and made it look like my goal at the time but it should have been an own goal.
I have always classed my first goal as coming in the 3-0 win at Tranmere the following season.
I was still only young and, at the time, it was just good to be on the pitch and playing in such a good team. I enjoyed it and we had a great bunch of lads.
YOU HIT THE GROUND RUNNING AT THE START OF 2010/11 BY SCORING FIVE GOALS IN FOUR GAMES – WHAT DID YOU PUT THAT DOWN TO?
I had a good summer and worked very hard. I did well in training and felt very fit and confident.
It was never going to be easy to break into team. I had great players in front of me, Brett Pitman up front and Liam Feeney on the wing.
But Brett got a move very early in the season and I was the only option at the time to play up front. Eddie had faith in me to play me and I came in and took my chance.
BACK-TO-BACK HAT-TRICKS AND A FIRST CAP FOR NORTHERN IRELAND SOON FOLLOWED. DID YOU EVER SENSE A MOVE TO A HIGHER LEVEL COULD BE ON THE CARDS?
I was 20 at the time and wasn’t really thinking about anything other than trying to play well and trying to score goals.
I was enjoying my football. Looking back now, I wish I had stayed to be honest.
I went to Millwall, had a few injuries and didn’t feature as much as I would have wanted.
If I was ever asked for advice by a younger player, I would say “if you’re happy where you are and are playing well then stay and learn your trade before you make that move”.
It’s hard because different people take different paths.
WHAT WERE YOUR EMOTIONS WHEN YOU LEFT FOR MILLWALL?
I was pleased to be going to a club in the Championship because that was a great achievement for me. I had always wanted to play as high as I could.
But it was sad as well. I was leaving a team I had become really fond of, I had a lot of good mates there and I was close to the manager.
When you move away, it hits you. You have to build new friendships and maybe you are not as close to the new manager and stuff like that.
It was hard for me at the start, but you have to get used to it. That’s what football is about, you move around and, unfortunately, you can’t stay attached to too many people.
YOU HAD A LOAN SPELL UNDER EDDIE AT BURNLEY BEFORE PAUL GROVES RE-SIGNED YOU IN THE SUMMER OF 2012. HOW DID THAT MOVE COME ABOUT?
Millwall were interested in Scott Malone and Paul Groves wanted me so it was a swap deal in the end.
To be honest, I was desperate to come back to the club and to move back home. I jumped at the chance.
YOU FEATURED PROMINENTLY IN THE CHERRIES’ 2012/13 PROMOTION SEASON. WHAT ARE YOUR MEMORIES OF THAT SEASON?
It was a weird one.
We started the season with such a talented squad. I think everyone could see that but it just didn’t come together and something wasn’t right.
I’m not blaming it on the manager or the players, sometimes things just don’t work out.
Eddie came back and everything was familiar for him and a lot of the players. He knew what the club was about and it was the right fit.
He got the players playing for him and believed in us. You could see his passion for the club. We started playing some really good football and climbed the table. We won promotion and it was a fantastic achievement, especially considering how we had started the season.
YOU LEFT THE CLUB FOR A SECOND TIME AFTER PROMOTION TO THE PREMIER LEAGUE HAD BEEN WON IN 2015. TELL US ABOUT YOUR DEPARTURE?
The club was growing and progressing very quickly.
Sometimes, it’s hard for a player, particularly one who started at the bottom with the club. I had a lot of injuries and went out on loan.
One of the highs was scoring at Wembley and winning the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy during a loan spell with Peterborough.
But as far as Bournemouth was concerned, I knew I was never going to get back in the team due to the quality of players they had and the way they were playing.
I always knew I was going to leave but the manager was fantastic with me. He always kept in contact and never left me in the dark.
When I left, he wished me all the best and said he would always be there if I needed any help which is testament to the way he is with players.
He has helped me throughout my career and I don’t think I would have had half the career I had if it hadn’t been for him.
It was a sad time but I knew it was the right time.
WHAT ARE YOU DOING NOW, BOTH IN FOOTBALL AND LIFE?
I’m playing for Weymouth and loving every minute of it there.
We have just been promoted to the National League which is a massive achievement.
Mark Molesley, who I played with at Bournemouth, is the manager. He is doing a great job and has also really helped me.
Off the pitch, I’m looking to get into the personal training side of things and hopefully I can get that ball rolling soon.
I’ve got a little girl and another one on the way so life is good!
Weymouth picture: Mark Probin