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Features

The Numbers Game: Southampton

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AFC Bournemouth AFC Bournemouth

The final chapter of the Cherries' history of shirt numbers, including records, youth internationals and inclusions from 2019/20.

It's been 20 years since squad numbers became compulsory in the Football League, Mark Mitchener takes a look at the players, the stats and some unusual tales from the past two decades.

This concludes a series which was featured in MATCHDAY during the 2019/20 season.

57

Winger KEELAN O’CONNELL became Bournemouth’s first number 57 when he was named as a substitute for a League Cup third-round tie against Preston at Vitality Stadium on 20th September 2016. But while defender Corey Jordan made his debut as a substitute in extra time, O’Connell remained on the bench alongside fellow rookies Callum Buckley and Ollie Harfield.

Later the same season, Portsmouth-born O’Connell was an unused substitute in an FA Cup third-round defeat at Millwall. He spent the second half of the 2018/19 season on loan at Scottish side Greenock Morton.

58

Number 58 is the highest number that has been worn by a Bournemouth player making a competitive first-team appearance.

Southampton-born midfielder MATT WORTHINGTON set the record when he came on as a 74th-minute substitute for Ryan Fraser on the final day of the 2016/17 season at Leicester, becoming the second Cherries academy product after Baily Cargill to play in the Premier League and helping the team to an unprecedented ninth-placed finish.

Worthington, who had captained the Under-21s to the Hampshire Senior Cup final at the beginning of May 2017, was 'promoted' to number 43 for the 2017/18 season.

That left the number available for fellow midfielder KYLE TAYLOR, who had been coached by Eddie Howe at Under-10 level during his time as centre of excellence manager.

Taylor made his first-team debut as an 87th-minute substitute in a 3-0 FA Cup replay defeat at Wigan in January 2018. Soon earning a new contract, he was an unused sub for four Premier League games towards the end of that season, and 'moved up' to number 28 for the 2018/19 season.

59

Midfielder NNAMDI OFOBORH joined Bournemouth in 2016 after being released by Millwall, and his first brush with the first team came two years later when he was an unused substitute for three successive home League Cup ties against Milton Keynes Dons, Blackburn and Norwich.

He also made the Premier League bench for the final two home games of that season, against Fulham and Tottenham. In the summer of 2019, he appeared for Nigeria at the Under-20 World Cup, and was handed the Cherries’ number 38 shirt for this season – the majority of which he has spent on loan at Wycombe, with whom he gained promotion through the playoffs at Wembley earlier this week..

60

Yeovil-born right-back BROOKLYN GENESINI was asked to train with the first-team squad in January this year after some impressive performances for the Under-18s, and was an unused substitute in the FA Cup fourth-round defeat by Arsenal at the end of that month.

61 & 62

Numbers 61 and 62 have not yet been worn in a Bournemouth matchday squad.

63

Dorchester-born defender BRENNAN CAMP has been on Bournemouth’s books since 2007, and won three Scotland Under-19 caps in early 2019, scoring on his debut against Azerbaijan.

His late grandfather Gerry Gow was a Glaswegian midfielder who spent more than a decade at Bristol City, also playing for Manchester City, Rotherham, Burnley and Scotland Under-23s.

Camp signed his first professional contract with the Cherries last summer, and set a new high-water mark for Bournemouth numbers when he was an unused substitute in the Carabao Cup defeat by Burton in September 2019. But he would only hold the record for two months…

Soon after that, Camp rejoined Weymouth for a second spell on loan, having also had temporary spells with Portland United, Poole Town and Dorchester Town.

64

Number 64 has not yet been worn in a Bournemouth matchday squad.

65

Hillingdon-born striker CHRISTIAN SAYDEE’s prolific form for the Under-18s led him to be named as a substitute for the Premier League visit to Tottenham at the end of November 2019.

Though he remained on the bench, 17-year-old Saydee was allocated the number 65 – breaking Brennan Camp’s two-month-old record (see above) for the highest number worn by a Cherries player.

Unless stated, all statistics relate to the 'squad number era' since 1999, and are correct as of the end of the 2018/19 season.

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