In the second part of our profiles of the under-18s who this summer will graduate from the AFC Bournemouth Academy, we talk to the players about their journeys this far.
After an action-packed season with Alan Connell’s team, a campaign that ended with a win at Swindon Town to claim the Merit League title, the players next season will link up with Shaun Cooper and his under-21s squad.
The players spoke with afcb.co.uk to detail how they successfully reached this point in their careers.
It’s been a season full of ups and downs. I had a good start to the, had some good performances and played for the under-21s and did well, then I got injured when I ruptured some ligaments in my ankle and that made for a tough rehab journey. Thankfully, I’m back playing now.
When I made my return it was a great feeling, I got 20-odd minutes in the first return match then came off the bench again when we won the league at Swindon. It was a good feeling, now I’m looking at next season. I looked up to Nathan Ake when he was here, he was good on the ball, defensively did his job and was a leader, that’s the type of player I want to be.
As a player I like to attack, I like to get forwards and goalscoring’s one of my strengths, that’s something I work on and I’m good at. Me and Jack Wadham have corresponded off each other really well in the midfield together over the last season, we have a good understanding of how each other play and that’s been a big positive.
Now I’m hoping to progress at this club and work my way towards the first team, that has to be the main goal of everyone in this group, to all get as far as we can in our careers.
Back in the day a right-back would stay back in that position but nowadays it’s increasingly and attacking role and that’s me, an attacking full-back who likes to get back and forwards up the wing. I’ve been here for coming up for two years now and it’s been good, it’s different to London where I’m from, it’s much quieter but there is still lots to do so if there is a day I can get out it’s a very nice place to be.
Next year I’m aiming to be around the first team a bit more, getting a few more appearances for the under-21s, staking my claim with them and winning the shirt. Then I’m looking forwards to see how far I can get.
I’ve really enjoyed the season, it’s been one of the best I’ve had. I’ve had so much help from everyone in the goalkeeping department and they’ve been really good with me, it’s been a fantastic first season for me here.
After being released by Chelsea I worked hard over the off-season so I could come in as prepared as possible to hit the ground running. I’ve had some good opportunities training with the first team and have had some international experience as well, it’s been a good year all round and I’ve taken a lot from it.