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Under-21s

Camp - Best feeling I've had in football

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AFC Bournemouth AFC Bournemouth

Brennan Camp toasted a memorable weekend and season as he topped off his loan with Weymouth by winning promotion with his hometown club.

The 19-year-old was one of four Cherries loanees who helped the Terras back to the National League, the side winning a penalty shootout after a 0-0 draw at the Bob Lucas Stadium. 

The win puts the lid on a incredible campaign, manager Mark Molesley - who shares the role with that as assistant manager of AFC Bournemouth's under-21s side -winning a second straight promotion to lift Weymouth to the fifth tier for the first time since 2009.

"I never like a game going to penalties, I was never going to take one, I think I was last on the list!" said Camp, in conversation with afcb.co.uk.

"The boys did well to step up, we did our job and converted ours, they missed their three and when that third one went over the bar it was the best feeling in the world, the best feeling I've had in football.

"I don't think anyone expected us to challenge at the top of the table. Everyone thought we'd get relegated or be right down there.

"With all the stuff going on at the minute with the pandemic we didn't know what was going to happen, but to have the opportunity to play the semi, play the final and then to win it the way we did, the boys deserved it and it was the best feeling.

"There wasn't really much pressure on us, Moles (Molesley) always said that if we trust in the process and do our jobs then we can beat anyone on our day.

"After the game around the town it was buzzing. Everywhere I went I was getting pictures taken with me, the whole vibe was really good and the club deserve it, they're back where they should be.

"It's a great club and I've loved every minute being there."

The win means Portland-native Camp has now written his own chapter in a long history he has with the Terras, from going along as youngster to his extensive family ties with the club.

Father Jason and great uncle David both turned out for the club, while his maternal grandfather Gerry Gow managed the club after his playing career with Bristol City and Manchester City.

"I always thought maybe one day I'd go on loan on play for them and to get them promoted back to the National League is special," said Camp of his history with Weymouth.

"Ever since I was a kid I used to go up and watch them week-in,week-out as a fan as they're my local team." 

"I'm not sure I'd call my dad decent! He ran around up top for a bit, he played for Weymouth for a short spell and a few of the local teams, but I think I get most of my footballing abilities from my mum's side of the family."

Cagey at the start, Weymouth grew into the play-off final and both teams created chances that weren't taken before the game went straight to a shootout after 90 minutes.

Fellow Bournemouth loanees goalkeeper Calum Ward and centre-back Shaun Hobson helped Camp keep the clean sheet, with Jaidon Anthony leading the line in attack.

In the shootout Tom Whelan, Jake McCarthy and Anthony netted their spot kicks, while Dartford missed all three of theirs to send Molesley's men up.

"We knew going into the game that their front three was quick, talented and they had the top goalscorer in the league, Darren McQueen, playing against me on the left," said Camp.

"I knew I was in for a tough game but the lads defended well, did our job, and we knew that if we kept a clean sheet we'd have a chance of winning it.

"The lads then stepped up with penalties and won us the game so, the clean sheet was all I could do - because I wasn't going to take a penalty!"

With the elongated season now finally at an end for Camp, attentions are already turning back to Bournemouth and the target of breaking through with the Cherries in 2020/21.

"I've ended this season on a high, it's been one of my best seasons in football. For next year the main goal is to get in and around the first team more, trying to make a few appearances.

"Hopefully that will come if I work hard over pre-season and show what I can do next season."

Pictures: Mark Probin

 

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