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Features

Surridge on his goal-den Christmas celebrations

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AFC Bournemouth AFC Bournemouth

While for most of us - perhaps 2020 notwithstanding - Christmas is about being at home or with loved ones, Sam Surridge has had a series of nomadic festive periods in recent years.

While for most of us - perhaps 2020 notwithstanding - Christmas is about being at home or with loved ones, Sam Surridge has had a series of nomadic festive periods in recent years.

From calamities in Carlisle to Christmas Days spent travelling, to this season back making an impression with his hometown club, the striker has rarely had much time to catch his breath in his continued hunt to prove himself as a professional.

With a rare Boxing Day break this year, Surridge spoke with afcb.co.uk about his recent nomadic noels.

2017 - On loan at Yeovil Town

23th Dec: Yeovil Town 3-1 Exeter City - Surridge scores

26th Dec: Cheltenham Town 0-2 Yeovil Town

29th Dec: Morecambe 4-3 Yeovil Town

That Exeter game was a big one and I remember that goal. Exeter were doing well in the league and it was a bit of a derby. I scored a penalty late on when Exeter were known for coming back in games, so we were happy with that.

The 4-3 at Morecambe was an horrendous game! We battered them all afternoon and then the lad who scored two of them, Callum Lang, ended up becoming my good mate. I didn't know him at the time but we were later on loan together at Oldham 

The Christmas games feel different. When you're at them there's a good atmosphere and the players want to do especially well - it could ruin some Christmases if you don't. 

That was my first Christmas in the Football League, and we'd lost 8-2 to Luton on my debut. I only played the last 20 minutes and it was 7-2 when I came on, so it wasn't my fault!

I played a lot of games at Yeovil and I was only 19, that's where I started proving I could score some goals in the Football League, which was big for me.

I've got a few goals every year in December so I must like it, I like the atmospheres, the weather - it's really crisp, not too rainy, great for a striker.

2018 - On loan at Oldham Athletic

15th Dec: Oldham Athletic 4-2 Bury - Surridge scores

22nd Dec: Oldham Athletic 2-3 Exeter City - Surridge scores

26th Dec: Carlisle United 6-0 Oldham Athletic 

I scored against Bury, I scored against Exeter - and then we lost 6-0!

We didn't go up to Carlisle the day before, we went up on the morning, Manchester to Carlisle isn't so bad. It may be why we lost 6-0, and the manager Frankie Bunn got sacked after that.

It was a freak result really, I don't really want to remember that one too much!

I was living away from home anyway, so going to Carlisle wasn't too bad, I've got my house down here in Bournemouth now so I'm a lot more settled and that helps when you're playing. If you're happy where you're living your football takes from that, I was younger then and didn't really mind.

I'd been injured in the October and November but finished there with 12 goals halfway through the season, when I came back. I could have got a lot more there without that gap. I liked it up there, I think we could have done better if the manager had stayed on.

2019 - On loan at Swansea City

14th Dec: Swansea City 3-1 Middlesbrough - Surridge scores

26th Dec: Brentford 3-1 Swansea City

29th Dec: Swansea City 0-0 Barnsley 

As I get older I've got better, and I felt that last year with Swansea. We travelled on Christmas Day last year, I didn't mind that, but as you get older it does get harder. I like the festive games, they’re the best months for me if you look at my goals.

I'm still obviously not that old but I feel it sometimes because I've done hard graft in these recent seasons and played a lot of football and got a lot of my education in the game away from Bournemouth.

It's nice this year being in the team here and I'd recommend going out on loan to any young player, though it's easier said than done at the moment.

As soon as I've been at another club I've had the mindset that I'm not a Bournemouth player but that I'm at wherever I'm at and putting as much as I can into that team. 

When I was at Oldham I was in League Two while Bournemouth were in the Premier League, so I couldn't say I was a Premier League Player. I was just looking to do as well as I could, that's how I made my name and I got the rewards at Bournemouth from doing that.

Now I don't feel like a young lad at Bournemouth, there's a trust in me here and I like that. That gives me confidence.

2020 - Back with Bournemouth

12th Dec: AFC Bournemouth 5-0 Huddersfield Town - Surridge scores

19th Dec: Luton Town 0-0 AFC Bournemouth 

30th Dec: Brentford v AFC Bournemouth

It'd be good for me to get a couple more goals in December, so that means I'm looking at Brentford now. 

I scored against Huddersfield this month and that was my first goal in front of fans this season, which I didn't really think of at the time, but that's what you want and what we've missed at some games this season.

To be fair, on Christmas Day when it comes to roast dinners I can control myself, it's all the chocolates and biscuits! I should be alright, I won't be too bad this year with the game on the 30th.

We're all old enough that we don't get much guidance from the club, we all know what to eat and about not eating too much. It's okay to treat yourself as it's Christmas, it's about just not having too much.

I'm used to these Christmases now, this year is the first in a while where I've not had a game. You want to be playing, but we'll have to take the rest as a positive.

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