Signed in July 2019, Jack Stacey joined AFC Bournemouth in the latest step of a rapid rise which also included back-to-back league promotions with Luton Town.
Born in Bracknell, the right-back was a youth team player with Reading, but despite making a handful of appearances for the Royals – including two with future Cherries team-mate Nathan Ake, who was on loan in Berkshire in 2015 – Stacey was unable to make the breakthrough consistently, instead gaining experience out on loan with Barnet, Carlisle United and Exeter City.
It was with the Grecians that Stacey came close to gaining a first promotion of his career, his final showing for City coming in the League Two play-off final at Wembley, though his side were narrowly edged out 2-1 by Blackpool in the showpiece event.
That summer, in June 2017, the defender made a return to the fourth tier, this time on a full-time basis, as he signed for Luton for an undisclosed fee.
Stacey was immediately a first-team regular at Kenilworth Road, netting his first goal for the club in a September win over Port Vale before ending the year with a first dismissal for the Hatters after catching Forest Green’s Dan Wishart with a high foot in a game at the New Lawn. However, by the campaign’s end Stacey had started in 44 of his 45 appearances and the Hatters were elevated to League One with a second-place finish.
Luton and Stacey went from strength to strength in 2018/19, as an incredible unbeaten run from the autumn onwards propelled them to a second successive promotion, this time as champions. The rampaging right-back chipped in with four goals and eight assists across his 50 games for the division’s winners, performances that saw him named in the League One team of the season.
His athleticism and ability to affect matches in both defence and attack had not gone unnoticed on the south coast, the Cherries swooping to make Stacey their second signing of the summer during the early stages of pre-season ahead of their fifth Premier League campaign.
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