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Under-21s

Tyler hungry for taste of first-team action

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AFC Bournemouth AFC Bournemouth

Tyler Cordner hopes another stint in the school of hard knocks will stand him in good stead as he looks to stake a claim for a first-team opportunity.

Defender Cordner spent the first half of the season on loan to National League strugglers Ebbsfleet United, making 23 appearances for the Kent outfit.

The 21-year-old cut his teeth in the fifth flight when he played 38 times for Havant & Waterlooville in 2018/19, the Hawks eventually tasting relegation.

Cordner, who progressed through the academy ranks at Vitality Stadium, has gained valuable experience during his loan spells having previously also served AFC Totton and Wimborne Town.

Since returning from Ebbsfleet, Cordner has played a leading role in helping the Cherries book their place in the last 16 of the Premier League Cup.

He started the 3-0 win against Nottingham Forest in January and then skippered Shaun Cooper’s team to a 3-2 victory over Southampton which guaranteed top spot in their group.

Cordner, who was sent off in their final group game against Stoke, told afcb.co.uk: “Both Havant and Ebbsfleet knew they were going to be in a fight to stay up when I went there.

“Havant had only just come up and it was their first season in the National League and Ebbsfleet had a lot of problems behind the scenes. Havant didn’t stay up and Ebbsfleet are still fighting.

“It was good for me to go into teams like that where I was going to get exposed to a lot of defending. I could have gone to a top National League team but wouldn’t have learned as much.

“Going out and getting those experiences was one of the best things I’ve done so far in my career. Now I’m back, I really want to push on and get into the first team.

“I came up against some really good teams and experienced players. We played the likes of Yeovil and Notts County, both of whom Bournemouth were playing not too long ago.

“It was good to come up against different opponents and different types of players. For me, the main thing was learning how to deal with the bigger strikers and the nippy strikers.

“Going out to win at all costs was something else you can take from a loan move. Sometimes the game plan would change five or six times in a match.

“I was getting exposed to different things to what I was used to at Bournemouth.

“I’ve been training with the first team recently which is good. I want to try to be with them as much as possible, every day if I can until the end of the season.

“My aim is to be on the bench and I want to make my debut for the club. To do that, I’ve got to play well for the under-21s and that’s what I’m going to try to do. If I do that then hopefully I’ll get my opportunity.

“If you do well, the gaffer will give you a chance. People say you have to have a bit of luck in football but you have to do well to get that bit of luck.

“You have to be in and around it for him to see you’re good enough and able to do a job if he needs you.

“I know we’re not in a position now where he can just chuck the youngsters in straightaway. We know we’re in a fight so if we can get safe then hopefully my opportunity may come.”

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