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First Team

Premier League life to begin at 30 for Kieffer


AFC Bournemouth AFC Bournemouth

From washing dishes in a restaurant to serving up a promotion-winning goal, Kieffer Moore has come a long way.

Moore’s memorable midweek strike against Nottingham Forest secured AFC Bournemouth a return to the Premier League.

It was the latest chapter in a career which has taken many turns for the striker, with hometown club Torquay United dropping a first bombshell when he was just 12.

The Gulls’ decision to disband their academy in 2004 severely dented Moore’s hopes of becoming a professional footballer, the youngster eventually ending up playing for Paignton Saints in the South Devon League.

While studying at South Devon College, Moore had several part-time jobs, among them working in a sweet shop, washing dishes in a Paignton restaurant and as a storeman at the Torquay branch of the rent-to-buy chain BrightHouse.

His prolific goalscoring exploits for Paignton Saints saw him snapped up by Conference South outfit Truro City, with Moore making his debut for the White Tigers ten days after he had turned 20.

He combined his semi-pro career with working full-time as a personal trainer and lifeguard at Devon Hills Holiday Park in Paignton. 

Following spells with Dorchester, Yeovil, Viking in Norway, Forest Green, Ipswich, Barnsley, Wigan and Cardiff, Moore joined the Cherries in January.

And despite suffering another major setback when he sustained a broken foot on his debut against Birmingham, Moore earned hero status when he fired the Cherries to the Premier League this week.

Charting his journey from the schoolboy ranks at Torquay to the top flight with the Cherries, Moore sat down with afcb.co.uk to discuss some of the stops on his eventful career.       

The frontman, who will celebrate his 30th birthday during gameweek one of next season’s Premier League, said: “I feel this is the culmination of all the hard work and dedicated I’ve put into everything.

“To hopefully make my debut at that age will be incredible. It will be testament to my resilience and work ethic.

“I’m going to say it, age is just a number. I don’t feel anywhere near 30 and I’ve got many years left.

“I can’t wait for the fixtures to come out. Maybe it might sink in then. I’m still trying to take in what we’ve achieved. I haven’t had a moment to reflect since the final whistle went on Tuesday.

“It was just pure emotion. It was amazing seeing all the lads, the supporters and my family and partner.

“When the season officially winds down, I’ll probably have time to recoup and realise what’s happened. For me, that hasn’t happened yet.”

Moore, who was named after the British and Canadian actor Kiefer Sutherland, was keen to thank dad Darren, mum Liza and partner Charlotte (pictured above) for their unflinching support when he said: “They have been there the whole way through. I was with my partner when I was playing non-league at Truro City and she has seen everything.

“It’s been a long journey with my mum, dad, brother, sister and niece and it was great to share it with them. I’m not going to sugar-coat it, they have all helped me enormously throughout the journey.

“You need amazing people along the way and they have really inspired me to keep going and to keep striving. I have always known what I wanted to achieve and, ultimately, by winning promotion to the Premier League, I’ve achieved another of my goals.”

Seven days before netting against Forest, Moore came to the Cherries’ rescue when he scored twice during the dramatic 3-3 draw with Swansea.

Asked whether he had ever had to put his lifesaving skills to good use at Devon Hills Holiday Park, Moore joked: “No…and I’m very thankful for that!

“Fortunately, I never had anything like that to deal with which was good. I had a couple of scares but it was only people falling in the pool. You’re thinking ‘oh no, what’s happen here?’ But I went over and everything was fine.

“When I think where I am today, it’s crazy to think about all the jobs I had when I was younger and playing non-league.

“When I played for Truro, it was a two-and-a-half hour drive or a train journey from where I worked. I’d do it on a matchday and twice a week for training.

“It was tough and there was a lot of work. You can only imagine having a full-time job alongside that and it was very difficult but it was all worthwhile.

“I’ve always been so focused. It might come across as arrogant or over confident but I’ve always had 100 per cent faith in myself.

“I knew what I could do and I knew I was different as a footballer. I always thought I had something else about me which could get me there.

“In that sense, I always thought that if I worked hard to perfect what I knew I was good at, I would always have a chance. It was when, not if, I would play in the Premier League.”

Moore, who is hoping to help Wales reach the World Cup finals, was asked whether his realised the magnitude of his goal against Forest.

“No! I haven’t digested it yet,” he said. “Once the season is wrapped up, I’ll have a week to take everything in before I join up with Wales.”

And asked if he was pinching himself at the prospect of becoming a Premier League footballer at the age of 30, he replied: “Yes, definitely!

“I’m almost lost for words about what I have achieved and how it’s happened. Nobody would have predicted I would break my foot within three minutes of making my debut and then having to have a big operation.

“It hasn’t been easy but I’ve come through multiple setbacks in my career and I wouldn’t change any of my decisions for the world.”

Truro City pictures courtesy of Truro City FC.

Age is just a number, I don’t feel anywhere near 30 and I’ve got many years left

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