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Besant enjoying having increased eyes on him


AFC Bournemouth AFC Bournemouth

Joe Besant has taken a shining to life in the men's game despite still being aged just 17, and is using his developing skill set when called upon back with the under-18s at Bournemouth.

The teenage 'keeper has spent the start of the current season on loan at Blackfield & Langley in the Wessex League Premier Division, where he's able to make the most of working with manager Fawzi Saadi, a former player and coach with the Cherries.

Besant spoke to afcb.co.uk about the adjustment he's made in his game during his first loan spell away from the club and how it's helping to improve him as a goalkeeper.

"It's been good to get a consistent run of games, it gives you a different sort of challenge to under-18s football playing in the real world almost in men's football," he said.

"Having Fawzi there as well, with all his experience at Bournemouth, it's good to keep the philosophy.

"I'm training day-in, day-out with Bournemouth and then going to Blackfield for games, that means I still have the same ideas of how to play, which is good.

"It's a very different style of play, we try to play out at Blackfield because of Fawzi's influence, but the other teams have different types of players with different statures and often try and go direct.

"Sometimes, especially on the pitches we play on, even if you're trying to play football you still have to go in behind and play long. 

"That means as a 'keeper in non-league I have to be ready to sweep up because so many balls come in and sometimes the defenders might not be able to deal with everything, so I have to be mentally quick enough to help them out.

"Learning different things in the men's game has helped me back playing with the under-18s. I feel I was a bit more of a leader out there because you can't really hide in men's football, people will pick you off if you do that. I try to lead and come for crosses like in the men's game."

With an increasing number of coaches to work with and progress his abilities, Besant is trying to show a larger number of people his goalkeeping skills, as well as enjoying having outsiders at his matches to run the rule over him.

"Having different coaches is really good," he said. "When I first went in I didn't know exactly what it was going to be like, I knew a couple of people but wanted to make an impression straight away.

"It's also good to have supporters pay to come and watch you, people you don't know, that adds an extra challenge at times.

"With people never having seen you before and not knowing about you it's a good opportunity to show what you can do."

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