AFC Bournemouth midfielder Tom Dinsmore is hoping to draw on the previous positive experiences in the Central League Cup as the Cherries travel to Bristol Rovers in the competition.
Last season, Dinsmore was an under-18s player but played an influential part in the final as the Cherries were crowned champions in a 2-0 win over Notts County at Meadow Lane.
And having been a part of that successful cup campaign, Dinsmore – now a professional with the Cherries – wants to be a big influence as Shaun Cooper’s men look to retain their crown.
Speaking ahead of their second group game with Bristol Rovers, the midfielder said: “We don’t get too many competitive games so this is really important for us.
“Last season we obviously won the competition which was great for all of us, but I really enjoyed it and took so much from it on a personal level.
“It was a strange one for me, I’d been on the bench for the last group game and wasn’t involved in the other games, then when it got to the final, I started!
“So it was my first proper final really, we had Nnamdi Ofoborh and Kyle Taylor player and we came up against an experienced side.
🎊🏆🎊— AFC Bournemouth (@afcbournemouth) April 24, 2019
Congratulations to Shaun Cooper and our U21s - Central League Cup winners!
Not sure where that trophy lid has ended up though, @NnamdiOfoborh4... 😳
Match report 📰: https://t.co/LEgxqEKn2Z#afcb 🍒 pic.twitter.com/uJCi5UMFw6
“Everyone was so focussed, and it was an overnight stay which at the time was a new experience for some of the lads.
“When I was in the under-18s you had the youth cup, but for that game specifically we were playing purely for the result. Academy games are usually all about development but we were solely focussed on the result that day, it was all about winning and nothing else.
“I really enjoyed it and I’m sure I speak for everyone to say we want more success and more of the same – we want to defend our title.”
The Cherries were victorious in their first group game against Portsmouth away from home, and travel to Bristol Rovers with the game being played at Yate Town FC.
And in his first year as a professional, Dinsmore is keen to keep making an impact in the cup competitions.
“It’s a different experience playing in the cup competitions,” he added.
“You sometimes come up against more experienced players who have played 200 league games or older players or who more experience at 21s level so I want to keep learning whoever we play against.
“This year has been hard, but in a good way as I feel when you play in this better standard you become more aware and focussed, I’ve enjoyed playing lots of minutes.
“Playing in friendlies, you obviously want to win and play well but this is other level and an important game against Bristol Rovers, a win is massive for us to get to the knockout rounds.”