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Bevan on Wales, first team and leadership


AFC Bournemouth AFC Bournemouth

Owen Bevan has had a busier time than most since returning for pre-season with the Cherries this summer.

The 17-year-old central defender's size, maturity and rapid development saw him invited to the first-team training camp in Marbella, where he also played in the friendly with La Liga side Granada.

Bevan has also started for both the under-21s and under-18s since the campaign got started, most recently captaining the younger age group in the 2-0 win over Southampton on Tuesday.

Additionally, the domestic football is soon also to be complimented by a return to internationals, Bevan set to link up with Wales under-19s in the upcoming break.

Speaking to afcb.co.uk, Bevan started by describing his ongoing time with Scott Parker and the first team squad.

"I've really enjoyed it since being back and being with the first team almost every day - it's been my first time around the squad. It's been tough training, two sessions almost every day.

"I think I'm getting used to it now, getting used to that high intensity and it's useful to bring back what I've learned to the under-18s for matches.

"The older players have been good with me and help me settle in. Obviously I'm the young kid, when we do the rondos sometimes I'll start off in the middle, I just have to keep going and keep learning.

"It's definitely been a big jump and I have to take that responsibility on my shoulders, listen to what the gaffer tells me and try to develop."

Tuesday's win at Staplewood was an especially good learning process for Bevan and his team-mates, manager Alan Connell taking a step back and forcing the players - led by their skipper - to control the matchday. 

"It was a good experience, a different experience," he said. "I think I can take a lot from it and it will help me become a better leader for the future, which is something I want to do.

"It made me take more control of myself and my team-mates around me and try to lead the team.

"Especially after Saturday's 1-0 loss I think it was a good reaction. We drove ourselves from the start we trusted each other on a good pitch, moved the ball and switched it well.

"We got a lot of joy down the wings and used our eights well.

"We were aware at half time, one of us said that Southampton would come out a bit faster and press us, which they hadn't done so much in the first half.

"We had a couple of sloppy moments at the start of the half but we rode that out and eventually got back to playing our football and saw the game out well."

Soon Bevan's attentions will turn back to international football, and what promises to be a worthwhile trip to the Adriatic.

"I'm going away with the Wales under-19s squad to Croatia for about ten days," he explained. "We've got three friendlies against Turkey, Austria and Croatia, which will be preparation for the qualifiers we've got coming up in October.

"I've got five caps for Wales so far so hopefully I can get three more and take that forwards to the qualifiers.

"It's good to be around different players, the philosophy is different, it's a lot more tactical I'd say with different ways to play when analysing different nations before we play them.

"I can then take that experience back from my internationals and then use that here when I'm back at the club."

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