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Where's Jonny? Gone fishing...


AFC Bournemouth AFC Bournemouth

If teenage AFC Bournemouth striker Jonny Stuttle goes on to make the grade, he would be in very good company.

Stuttle, a first-year scholar at the Cherries academy, played his part as the under-18s lifted the EFL Youth Alliance South West division title this season.

And the 17-year-old has maintained his goalscoring exploits into their Merit League One campaign, netting twice in Saturday’s 5-1 win over Cambridge United at Canford Park Arena.

Stuttle celebrated by returning home to Weymouth, jumping aboard his new boat and dropping anchor off Portland Bill on Sunday.

Like Cristiano Ronaldo, David Beckham, Memphis Depay and Sergio Aguero, frontman Stuttle is also a keen fisherman.

While some footballers play computer games to unwind from the pressures of the game, Stuttle likes nothing more than spending his downtime bobbing about in the English Channel.

Discussing his hobby with afcb.co.uk, Stuttle said: “I’ve grown up around it. My dad was a fisherman and had his own boat. It’s been passed down through the family.

“I’ve got my own boat now. It was a work in progress when we bought it and we’ve put a lot of time and money into it doing it up.

“It’s called Tern Too. It was the name on the boat when we bought it and it’s unlucky to change the name on a boat so we had to keep it on there.

“It’s great to have it. I love fishing, it’s one of my hobbies and it helps take your mind off football.

“I’ll go out on Sundays after we have played on a Saturday or in the off-season when I’m out all the time.

“I take the boat off Portland Bill. It’s a lovely place and I catch all sorts. My biggest haul was a ten-pound seabass when I was out with my dad. I find it really relaxing and it’s what I like to do in my downtime.

“I’ve had people around the club saying can you get me this fish or that fish and I’m like ‘yeah, of course’. I’m happy to do it and enjoy it.”

Stuttle, whose older brother George plays for Portland United in the Wessex League, joined the Cherries as an 11-year-old having played youth football for Weymouth and Redlands.

He progressed through the academy ranks before being rewarded with a two-year scholarship after plundering 42 goals in 35 games for the under-16s.

“It’s going well,” said Stuttle. “I’m developing as a player and all parts of my game are improving. I’m scoring goals which, for a striker, is a great feeling.

“For me, it’s just a case of trying to keep improving, trying to keep getting on the scoresheet and becoming a better player.

“I played with my brother as we were growing up. He’s been in good goalscoring form for Portland, I think he’s learning off me now!”

Stuttle paved the way for victory against Cambridge by opening the scoring after just 15 seconds following a perfectly-executed kick-off routine.

Having spent the first seven months of his scholarship with Alan Connell as his coach, Stuttle is now working under recently-appointed youth team management duo Dan Carroll and Andrew Surman.

“We’ve been working hard on kick-offs and set-pieces in training,” said Stuttle. “Although we execute them, it’s all down to Dan and his staff. They put the effort in on the training ground to improve us so you have to give the credit to them.

“We’ve got high standards for ourselves and want to win as many games as possible. Although scoring two goals is a great feeling, the result and performance are the main objectives and we got both against Cambridge.”

Youth team boss Carroll said: “Jonny’s a brilliant boy and I’ve known him since he was an under-12.

“He comes from Weymouth, he loves being on the sea, loves his fishing and he’s a very good character. The group are all very fond of him.

“He will come in and talk about the fact he had to fix something on his boat or tell us what he caught at the weekend.

“He has different stories to most of the other lads so he adds a lot of value to the group.”

Stuttle and his teammates will be hoping to build on their display against Cambridge when they visit Stevenage in Merit League One on Tuesday (noon kick-off).

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