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Nnamdi sets sights on final flourish


AFC Bournemouth AFC Bournemouth

Nnamdi Ofoborh is keen for AFC Bournemouth under-21s to finish the season with a flourish and hopes to lift the Central League Cup.

Midfielder Ofoborh is expected to lead the Cherries when they do battle with Notts County in the final at Meadow Lane on Wednesday (1pm kick-off).

Ofoborh played his part as Shaun Cooper’s team topped the Southern South group after beating Southend United and Portsmouth and drawing with AFC Wimbledon.

Northern Central group winners Notts County had a 100 per cent record, seeing off Peterborough, Rotherham, Mansfield and Doncaster.

The Magpies booked their place in the final by beating Fleetwood 3-0, while the Cherries progressed after winning 2-1 at Shrewsbury in January.

Ofoborh, who is in his first season with the under-21s, told afcb.co.uk: “We’re reaching the business end of the season so we just have to make sure we get the job done.

“Everyone likes to win trophies and that’s the main reason we play. We have worked hard throughout the season and want to finish on a high.

“Being away from home, it will be a good learning experience for everybody, especially against a team that may play a couple of fringe first-teamers. We are ready for it so, hopefully, we can come back with the cup.”

Ofoborh, who scored in the Cherries’ EFL Youth Alliance Cup final win against Wigan two years ago, added: “At the start of the season, we had just come together and a lot of us had just come up from the youth team.

“The step up was hard and we struggled to keep up with the pace and power in our first few games but eventually we started to pick up.

“We had two good wins against Burnley and West Brom in the Premier League Cup and also drew at Liverpool. We went on a long unbeaten run and now we’re in a cup final.

“For me personally, I’ve never been captain and won a trophy. When we won two years ago, Sam Sherring was captain so, hopefully, this will be my chance to pick up a trophy.”

Coach Cooper is hoping to mark his first season in charge of the under-21s by winning the cup and is expected to field a young team at Meadow Lane with a number of his players currently on loan.

He told afcb.co.uk: “The players are all very competitive and are really looking forward to it. Our games programme this season has been a good mix of opposition for the players.

“We have played a few category one clubs, whether it’s been in friendlies or in the Premier League Cup. The non-league games are always a good experience as well. It’s crash, bang, wallop at times and we can dominate for long periods and then get caught out by one long ball. They are all fantastic learning opportunities for the players.”

Cooper is hoping to celebrate a cup win by heading back to Bournemouth for the screening of Minus 17, the club’s new documentary which chronicles the achievements of 2008/09 when he skippered the Cherries to the Greatest Escape.

“We would love to get back in time for that because it would be nice to see all the boys who we haven’t seen for a while and reminisce,” said Cooper, who is assisted by Mark Molesley, another Greatest Escape veteran.

“Although you have fond memories, you do forget some things as well so it would be great to see it on the screen. If we don’t get back in time, we will watch it after it has launched on afcbTV.”

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