AFC Bournemouth; a small south coast club with limited amount of history, a small but loyal fan base and a half decent stadium (3 quarters at least). Safe to say as football clubs go…we’re nothing special.
Our youth system is good for the size of the club; that said we have seen only one successful player through the youth system. We saw him leave at the tender age of 12 to join our friendly neighbourhood rivals, Southampton FC. Before Adam Lallana, we have to look back at Literally Jamie Redknapp for any major quality coming through the club.
All in all, we should be a pretty unassuming football club coasting through life in the lower leagues, not having much of a say in footballing community. But as the days, weeks, months and seasons pass it’s clear that that is not the case.
In recent years, Bournemouth have hit the headlines for various reasons. We have suffered with administration and seen ourselves within 7 minute from liquidation, been relegated due to a 10 point deduction, staying up in the following despite a further and slightly unjust 17 point deduction (Oh, and club legend ‘Big’ Steve Fletcher scoring the goal to keep us up), appointing the youngest ever manager in the football league who quite frankly was brilliant and worked wonders, promotion with a squad of 19, just missing out on back to back promotion AND having a foul mouthed, permanently drunk and a whole heap of crazy Chairman.
A Chairman who gets drunk and shouts at fans on the pitch. A Chairman who gets drunk and shouts at the team during half time, during the manager’s team talk. A Chairman, who during a Q&A session with fans and local press screams “if you don’t like what we are doing, go support Southampton”…whilst tasked with answering the unfortunate but somewhat reasonable question regarding the clubs finances. Freddy Shepherd – eat your heart out.
As you can see, it’s not been plain sailing for The Cherries. Times have been pretty tough in the past few years and most of it is off the field. But that’s what makes the fun. Interesting. Likable. We are just a plucky little club who every so often go a little mental and it makes people stand up and take note. The fact that despite fears the club could fold we bounce back. We fight back against the Football League and FA and achieve promotion despite transfer embargos and point deductions. We take a risk and appoint a 31 year old Eddie Howe who does a better job anyone could ever have dreamt. And yes, we don’t have the history of other teams in the lower leagues but what we do have we cherish.
This year is a strange one for supporters. The club has spent money. A lot of it. There are ambitions within the club. Championship or broke it seems. Mr Mitchell has made it abundantly clear what is what is expected of manager Paul Groves. He’s even bought in a new Adviser Harry Redknapp. But after the start we’ve had (W1 D3 L1) it seems the master plan is quite work. There is a growing fear amongst supporters that another bad spell for the club is only around the corner. After all, we’ve experience it all supporting the plucky little club from the South Coast.
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