Junior Stanislas is extending his journey with the Cherries and is excited to be working under Scott Parker – a man who also played a big role at the very start of the midfielder’s career as a first team player.
Wind the calendar back to March 2009 and a 19-year-old Stanislas was stood at the touchline at the Boleyn Ground ready to make his West Ham and Premier League debut, coming on for the final 22 minutes of a goalless draw with West Brom.
Already on the pitch was West Ham captain and future Cherries head coach Parker, Stanislas crediting his former team-mate for the early role he had in his own successful career in the upper reaches of English football.
“That game was a big one for me,” began Stanislas, in conversation with afcb.co.uk. “It was a big moment for me coming on and I then started on the weekend that followed and scored – and the head coach who’s here now played in both of them.
“We had a lot of good times on the pitch together, he helped me a lot off the pitch also and I can only say positive things about him.
“He’s very driven, very focused. He was like that as a player and everything that I’ve heard about him so far as a head coach has been very much the same.
“He’s very hard working, but at the same time he makes it enjoyable, with him as the head coach I’m delighted to sign and be part of this journey going forwards.
“I’ve had plenty of conversations with him from the moment he signed. Everything’s been positive and he’s made me feel very valued and that going forward I’ll have a big part to play in our journey.
“We want to get this club back to where we believe it should be and go one step further than last year.”
Stanislas’ extension comes on the back of the best goalscoring season of his career, netting 11 times to go along with five assists while making the most appearances across a campaign since joining the club.
“I believe it was largely because I was able to stay fit more,” he said, reflecting on his stats and the season as a whole. “I know that might seem strange because I’m a more senior player now, but I got a lot of things right off the pitch and God willing I can continue that into this season.
“It was 35 league games last season and hopefully I can go further than that again, add more goals, more assists – that’s always my ambition and target in terms of helping the team – so hopefully I can do that even more consistently and kick on again.
“I think we started the season off very well and were unbeaten for a long time. Maybe a few draws in there, if we can turn them into victories – as well as not dropping points against teams we shouldn’t have as we did last year – we’ll do well.
“As long as we remain focused game by game with the squad that we have and with players coming in also I’m sure we can push on one further."
Now aged 31, Stanislas says he is also increasingly enjoying his responsibility-filled position within the dressing room, one which sees him continuing to hone his role leading the younger players.
He said: “I think my role does change, though in terms of playing I’m still driven. Those boys are trying to come up and take my position, so I need to put the work in to try and get in the team and stay there.
“On the other side of things it’s not a new thing for me, I always try to talk to the younger boys. Jaidon Anthony, Kyle Taylor, Jordan Zemura, if you ask them I’m sure they’ll tell you that I speak to them quite regularly about moving senior players like me out of the team.
“I now have more responsibility and a role to do that side of it and that’s something I’m looking forward to even more as I mature as a player.”
With the ambition to bring further success to his already seven-year stay in Dorset, Stanislas outlined the major reasons for his excitement at signing his new contract with the Cherries.
He explained: “A head coach I know has come in and he plays really good football, I believe I can be a part of that so the club, my family, the area are the reasons why I’ve decided to commit the next two years of my career here.
"I didn’t want to go elsewhere and uproot my family, everyone’s settled. The fans have always been great with me, the club’s always been great with me and that’s a massive part of why I wanted to stay here.”