Carl Fletcher is hoping Sam Sherring can cap “a really beneficial loan” by helping Torquay United reclaim a place in the Football League.
Sherring has been a mainstay of the Gulls defence this season as they booked a place in the National League promotion final.
Runners-up to Sutton, Gary Johnson’s team will meet Hartlepool at Ashton Gate on Sunday having beaten Notts County in the semi-finals.
Sherring joined the Devon club in October and played his part as they won 24 of his 42 league games, scoring three times and keeping 17 clean sheets in the process.
The 21-year-old’s exploits earned him a place in the Vanarama team of the season which was announced earlier this week by the league’s sponsors.
Sherring’s progress through the ranks at Vitality Stadium has included two loan spells at Weymouth, the Dorchester-born defender helping the Terras to back-to-back promotions from the Southern League to the National League.
Discussing Sherring’s stay with the Plainmoor outfit, AFC Bournemouth loans manager Fletcher told afcb.co.uk: “Sam has had a really good season and it’s been a really beneficial loan, both for him and for us as a club.
“There is always a time where players mature from older boys into young men and I think we have seen that with Sam this season. He has matured mentally and physically.
“It’s been a demanding season for teams in the National League and it’s always a demanding league.
“There are some good teams and players with different styles of play and Sam has had to adjust to all of them.
“He has played a good number of games and the most pleasing aspect from my point of view has been his consistent level of performance.
“The majority of his games have been played as a right-sided centre-half and he also had a spell at right-back due to injury. He’s not a right-back by trade but he filled in fairly comfortably.
“Torquay had one of the best defensive records in the division and Sam was a big part of that unit.
“The all-round experience of living away from home and being in that environment with a very good experienced manager has really benefited him.”
Sherring joined the Cherries in 2007 and worked under Fletcher as he progressed through the club’s academy ranks.
“Sam is very focused and determined,” added Fletcher. “Ever since he’s been here, we’ve always known he is a good footballer.
“But there are lots of experiences that younger players need to go through to help them mature and progress their careers and the loans help that.
“Like a lot of the lads who have been on loan, he’s done the levels. He had good foundations with Weymouth in the Southern League and National South and has stepped up to the National League this season.
“Both personally and performance-wise, it’s been a positive and consistent season for him and all the credit has to go to Sam. Hopefully, he can be part of another promotion-winning team.”
Torquay, relegated from League Two in 2014, were pipped to the title by Sutton, the Gulls drawing their final four games before beating Notts County to set up Sunday’s final.
Gulls boss Johnson said: “Sam has done very well since he’s been here. It has been an excellent loan move for him. He’s a good lad and he’s thrown himself into the Torquay family.”
Picture credit: Pinnacle Photo Agency (PPA)
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