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Cuss delighted with Thompson's impact


AFC Bournemouth AFC Bournemouth

Manager Steve Cuss hailed the impact made by exciting winger Kenni Thompson, as she continued to make a positive impression on and off the pitch.

The Bermuda international, signed by AFC Bournemouth Women from Spanish outfit Eibar last month, kicked off her Cherries career with three goals in as many games.

She netted on her debut against Swindon Town Ladies in the Women’s National League before also finding the target against Southampton Women reserves in the Hampshire Cup a week later.

Thompson then converted the opener in a top-of-the-table clash against Exeter City at Ringwood Community Hub. The winger headed in Molly-Barron Clark’s cross to help the hosts seal a 1-1 draw with their title rivals.

While Thompson has impressed on the field since her arrival on the south coast, Cuss insisted her ability to settle in quickly had been a big factor in her success.

He told afcb.co.uk: “We know Kenni’s talents as a football player and we were hoping she would be able to hit the ground running.

“It’s a big ask when you move from slightly warmer parts of the world to a UK winter. Trying to deal with that, trying to deal with the rigours of playing competitive football.

“She hasn’t played a lot of competitive football, so she’s hit the ground really well and settled in off the pitch really nicely with the group and is an important member of that squad.

“On the pitch, she has been exceptional. Three games, three goals, has been a real threat in the attacking areas and a really exciting player to watch.”

Thompson featured for the likes of Espanyol, Barcelona and Chelsea as a youngster, building a wealth of experience across the globe. And while the 23-year-old has only been part of the Cherries squad for just more than a month, Cuss believes she has stepped into a team environment which makes her feel at home.

“She left home in Bermuda very young as a teenager to go and pursue a football career, so she is used to moving around, is very independent and strong in that,” he said.

“But she’s part of the team now and I have seen her gel really well with the squad, which is another pleasing factor that we have that environment where new players can come in and settle quickly with the existing squad.

“I am really pleased that has happened. I think that helps. If you are happy off the pitch and settled in well with your new teammates, you get the best out of a player on the pitch.

“In the three games we have seen Kenni, there have been some really special moments and good attacking play from her – both scoring goals and creating goals which is a big part of her game.”

Thompson will not get the chance to add to her goal tally this weekend, with Sunday’s scheduled Women’s National League contest against Torquay postponed at the Gulls’ request.

A new date for the fixture will be discussed in due course.

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