Sunday, 30 June 2013

Views of latest building work and training

I woke up this morning to kindly receive a great gift in some pictures of Dean Court that I thought I would share with you all. Michael Dunne, the creator of All Departments, was busy yesterday catching up on the latest happenings at the ground and took the following pictures.

Make sure you have a listen to Michael's Episode 4 podcast if you have not already heard the interview with Tales from The South End. It is also available to hear on Cherry Chimes, just span down the right hand panel until you come to All Departments and the podcast bar.

All Departments' podcasts are free to listen to.#

Bravo to our live blog match team

Hello.... Hello... your breaking up! .... I can't.... hear you.. Are you still there? Hello? Hello?  Where's the radio's match commentary gone?..... The signal keeps fading out!!!

Lost the live match day radio broadcast commentary again? Do not fear, we have a back up. In most, if not all, of the games last season we had the option, as in previous seasons, to check on the form and live goings on of AFCB and the players in the match day live blog on the official club website. I can't say that now and again there have not been hiccups on this system, but in the main the guys who work on reporting live on the blog do a fantastic job.

I can safely say that the lads who do the blog are very talented, because to type away while watching the game is no easy task. I imagine that one also monitors the incoming feeds from fans who log on to the blog and Twitter and Facebook comments that constantly come in. It's part of the match day that has really come alive in the past few years and which I really like.

As you know from Cherry Chimes we like to put up posts from excited fans and to share their reaction to news as soon as it happens. This is something that the Match Day blog is also able to do by immediately letting everyone know what other fans are thinking. It's this immediacy of the Match Day Blog that gives it an advantage, even over the radio where you often have to wait to half- or full-time before you often hear what other fans are thinking.

By the way, I also think that BBC Radio Solent do a great job as well. It is always entertaining to hear Willo's summaries on AFCB games when you have not been able to get to them. Sometimes though the radio commentary is delayed and falls behind play that you can see being text on the Live blog. In crucial games I find I veer towards the live blog and then wait for confirmation on the radio, while I'm also checking twitter and other websites that are giving live commentary. It's quite a task keeping up with play in this digital age, isn't it?

Well next season those bloggers, radio commentators and many of you fans I hope will be travelling to new grounds as AFCB begins its life in the Championship.

Make sure you tune in or is it log in? UTCIAD!

Saturday, 29 June 2013

Origins of FC Zurich match finally revealed

It was quite a surprise for most of us AFCB fans to find out that our beloved club would be playing a pre-season match on 5 July in Switzerland against the mighty FC Zurich. No one really questioned why such a match has come about or why the Cherries are able to attract the attention of such a team. Well Cherry Chimes has been endeavouring to find out how the game actually came about and I can now reveal a little more.

You might have thought that Lucerne would be the best match up that Bournemouth would find in Switzerland as the two town's are twinned. Yet, the link up between FC Zurich and AFCB is not based on the friendship of the towns. It is more to do with individuals I've been told.

No, Steve Fletcher has not been put in plaster after skiing in the Alps and Eddie Howe has not been scouting Switzerland's best young international players with FC Zurich's help. I approached Eddie Bear about which individual it could be, but he has been told to keep the answer secret with the promise of a few Toblerone bars! I tried to get him to talk, but I couldn't get anything out of him. His lips are sealed. No, honestly they are.

Eddie Bear is sworn to secrecy over the origins of the Zurich match.

I was beginning to run out of ideas but being resourceful Cherry Chimes used all his skills and managed to hear some news on the Swiss football hotline about how it all came about. The reason for the match is quite simple. Are you ready?

I guess it's only fair that I tell you now. But perhaps you have already guessed the answer? No?

Oh well, the reason is that Mr Maxim Demin and the FC Zurich club owners have become close friends in recent times. Maxim has some business interests in Zurich and is also a keen follower of the side over there. Although the friendship does not really go any deeper than that, I am told that the game is being held as a sign of the friendly relationship between the two owners of the clubs. There, the secret is out.

What a shame that the NPower league closed that loop hole about loaning players from foreign teams last season after the Watford and Udinese dealings. Of course AFCB could still benefit from having close friendships with a foreign club and learning from their experiences.

In this instance though it was a case of who you know and Mr Demin clearly knows some very powerful people in the football world, having already introduced AFCB to Locomtiv Moscow and FC Saarbrucken, only a couple of seasons ago (2011), when the Energy Consulting Group Cup tournament was held at Dean Court.

While know body yet knows the pre-season fixtures for next year, but we have surveillance outside the San Siro, Camp Nou, Bernabeu and Allianz Arena, just in case Mr Demin is spotted at another a stadium.

Friday, 28 June 2013

AFCB's team starting to take shape

The signings of Elliott Ward and Ian Harte have suddenly injected a lot of excitement into preparations for the new season at AFCB. The singing of such players really shows that the club is on its way to realising its full potential which for so many years it has been unable to achieve. Now we can all see that AFCB is a club that is going forward.

While the two players we have signed have come in on free transfers they are a step up from the kind of players we have seen coming in through the doors at Dean Court. The two new men have experience and more importantly pedigree which is not achieved over night. It will be easy for some of our players to be a bit naive playing in the Championship for the first time. They probably will make some mistakes, but perhaps less than they would have done if they can now talk to the kind of players like Harte and Ward who have been there and done it.

As pre-season games are now on the horizon, it is going to be of interest to see in what way Eddie Howe rotates the players and in what positions and the different systems he decides to play. It really is a new chapter in the club and team's development and it is just exciting to be a part of it as a fan.

The talk of possibly one of two more players coming in also keeps everyone looking forward to the start of the season with only 36 days to go now. AFCB's team is starting to take shape. UTCIAD!

Why I think Ritchie will light up the Championship

The signing of Matt Ritchie last January to Bournemouth was seen as a catalyst for the club to win promotion. I have a feeling that the signing is even more important than that as Matt has the potential to become the star man in the Championship.

His addition to the Cherries squad has already given the team a more devastating and clinical edge in front of goal, which is what they will need as they take on better teams. We only saw Matt for half the season in 2013 and for much of that he was playing at left back. Now though he is set to flourish in one of the best leagues in the world. His two-footed ability and his menacing endeavour add a real quality to our midfield. He can arrive late in the box to finish off moves and he can drill shots from outside the box as we know only to well having been on the receiving end of his finishing power when he played for Swindon Town.

I can't think of too many Championship defenders relishing the prospect of facing Matt one-on-one as he has them back peddling double-time towards their own goal. I would like to see him not restricted to furrow the right wing all game, but to be allowed to come inside occasionally to link in behind the forwards allowing Francis the freedom to get his crosses from the right as well. With Matt poised at the edge of the box in front of the D, he has the ability to weave his way into a shooting position and open teams up with his left or right foot. His balance and calmness in front of goal is also something that will add a real threat to AFCB's forward play.

There were periods towards the end of last season when all I could do was smile when I saw Matt Ricthie in full flow, because I knew we had a top-class player here and one that would get even better as he looked to shine in AFCB colours. He was the star man at Swindon and he has set out on his task to do the same at Dean Court. There is more to come from him and it is going to be amazing to see what he can do in a full season.

Harry Redknapp and others have valid reasons to be worried about the form of our players at Dean Court and I expect several other teams will have to think how best to try and control a player who has already won League Two and League One player of the year in successive seasons.

Marc Pugh could yet have a new challenger to be the crowd's favourite.

Thursday, 27 June 2013

Ian Harte signs for AFCB - real quality and experience

The Ian Harte transfer was looking a bit rocky yesterday with news that he had turned down AFCB's offer and was then receiving attention from Middlesbrough. However, the news that the Irish international has now signed for the Cherries, on a one-tear deal, will mean that Charlie Daniels and Stephen Purches will have a very experienced left back who will be competing for a place in the team. My only hope is that AFCB did not pay out too much on Harte's wages when they went back in for him.

At 35, Ian has had a distinguished career at Leeds Utd and Reading in particular. His Premiership experience should really help the Cherries and he has got a devastating free kick on him. While he is coming to the final few years of his career there is no doubt that he has the kind of quality that will give AFCB players  confidence when they set about their Championship campaign. Even if Ian does not start the majority of games his presence around the team is bound to be a big help.

AFCB was really caught out at the end of last season with a shortage of defenders in my opinion. Dan Seaborne had to come in as cover as well as Marcos Painter. We still had Purches, Daniels and Addisson out for many games, Partington was injured in training, while Zubar was injured on loan at Bury. Such a bad run of injuries may not happen next season but at least the club will have more cover in the Championship.

Early opinion from Cherry Chimes' readers is that this is a positive signing but that Daniels is most likely to keep the starting shirt at left back.

With one or two more signings on the cards,  according to Eddie Howe, the interest in Simeon Jackson is now mounting. Simeon is believed to be in the USA having flown to Toronto, Canada yesterday.

Still no news of players heading out of AFCB, but it will be interesting who does not travel to Switzerland.

Chances of Simeon Jackson at AFCB are HIGH

SKY News has been reporting that Simeon Jackson is available as a free transfer after leaving Norwich City and AFCB are said to be in prime position to sign the 26 year-old striker. AFCB have made no secret of looking for players who can add quality and Simeon, a Canadian international player, would be a major coup ahead of many of the other Championship sides looking to improve their forward line.

The news of the Cherries tracking Simeon is expected to quell any further rumours about Danny Ings. Both players are good at stretching defences by running the lines and Jackson could be a suitable replacement/back up for Lewis Grabban.

Cherry Chimes is encouraged that this rumour may just be one to follow closely.

Which games to see in July?

With the fixtures firmed up and the pre-season friendlies about to begin I imagine that most fans are starting to look at their bank accounts to see how many games they might be able to go and see in the coming months. The headache of missing the opening league fixtures would be hard to bear for life long supporters of the club and I do hope that the majority of you will manage to attend the opening Championship fixture against Charlton Athletic as it will be a very special day.

Before that though we have the pre-season games and I expect that it will be harder for most to attend many of these matches if you are also hopping to go to some of the league and cup away games next season. I do hope the pre-season attendances are not too low. While the FC Zurich and West Ham (Stephen Purches' Testimonial) stand out as the glam-ties some of the shine may now have been taken off of the Pompey fixture with AFCB drawing them in the Capitol One Cup. Still a derby is a derby and I would expect the Pompey game to be one of the most keenly fought over matches along with Sean O'Driscoll bringing Bristol City down to play AFCB.

Many of the pre-season fixtures will be local to Bournemouth supporters so I hope that some of you can provide us all with a summary of who you feel was fit and who was struggling in the games that you see. For my part I hope to see West Ham and Woking in action against the Cherries in July.

With only 50 tickets going on sale in the first batch for the FC Zurich game, the lucky supporters that get to sample the Swiss way of playing the beautiful game will surely be in for a treat.

Planning for which games to put a tick against and which to opt out of is a tough experience. I don't want to miss a match. 

Red & Black is always a great read

There is one part of the Match day experience that a lot of us look forward to. It's not merely the first sight of the Goldsands Stadium or the walk up to the stands. It's seeing those friendly faces who are waving those little Red & Black programmes in front of you. I want to know who is on the cover? I'm pondering over who Super Fletch has interviewed and I want to know what the captain and above all the Gaffa has to say about today's game. Now I'm rifling through my pockets hoping that I did not spend all my loose change before getting to the game.

You know the feeling, don't you? I expect I appreciate the Red & Black pogramme a lot because as a print journalist I know exactly how much hard work goes into producing that little booklet every match day. It's not a five minute project but something that has to be researched and carefully put together with very little time. It must be even harder when the club has a mid-week fixture and a weekend game.

Sure, the club has excellent resources in the way of photographs to hand and experienced staff to put the book together but every edition I read last season was excellent. If you go through the copies and read them from cover to cover, whether at the match or later down the pub or at home you know you have had value for money. And yet I am usually wanting more.

Hopefully some of you feel the same about Cherry Chimes. We certainly hope to keep you entertained and we aim to keep improving the service.

When I compare Red & Black to the pamphlet we would have back in the 1980s as a match programme you can see how much more fairly clubs like AFCB are reaching out to their supporters now. While the basic elements of a team sheet and the managers' introduction to the game are always to be found at the front and end of the programme, sandwiched in between them now is a wealth of entertaining opinion and views on everything you can think about to do with the club from the first team to the juniors.

Ah well, not long to wait to the next Red & Black programme.

Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Fans predict Demouge set for early departure

Well we had some fun in seeing which players Cherry Chimes' readers would select as early departures from the club over the summer and top of the poll was striker Frank Demouge. Twitter has been going mad with his expected move to Roda JC in The Netherlands, but there is no official news of even a bid yet. Frank managed to get 80% of the vote so most of you do not expect to see him at Dean Court next season.

Poll closed - Which players will leave AFCB in the Summer?
  20 (80%)
  11 (44%)
  9 (36%)
  16 (64%)
  4 (16%)
  17 (68%)
  10 (40%)
  4 (16%)

Just nudging into second place is Matt Tubbs with 68% of the vote. While Crawley Town has long been linked with Tubbs return, again no bids have come in for the striker from what we have been told. Matt himself has said that he wants to be in the south as his family is settled here so a move to Rotherham seems to be ruled out.

Matt is closely followed by Wes Thomas in the poll on 64%. Current AFCB squad strikers are clearly not in favour with Cherry Chime readers. I have a feeling that there will be news on Wes Thomas sooner rather than later. Watch this space, as they say.

The Bristol City rumours certainly have pushed Shwan Jalal up the rankings for a swift move out of Dean Court and with opportunities being restricted it is possible that he will seek a loan move if he can't get into the squad.

Miles Addisson and Stephane Zubar are really the only others that raise a question with you, but I have only seen a couple of posts that Bury FC maybe being interested in Stephane, while know one has been shouting about being after Addisson's services.

Josh McQuoid may have got away with a low poll as I had a typo there in his surname! Sorry, Josh. Sadly, I can't edit the poll once someone has voted. Lesson learnt for me.

Those who were very observant will know that I could have added a few more star candidates like Harry Arter or Matt Ritchie but I am quite happy to let the rumours about our top players being targeted to die down a little.

You also seem not to have given many votes for others leaving the club although it is possible that such players as Donal McDermott, Wes Fogden or Joe Partington could at least be facing loan moves elsewhere.

Wes Fogden - ain't no stoppin' him now

The one player at AFCB who continually manages to surprise me in his dogged determination and energetic playing style is Wes Fogden. He looks like he might get knocked over if you accidentally brush past him, but Wes is much stronger and fitter than the average player from what I see when I go to Dean Court. A real action man.

Wes Fogden before the Orient away game last season. Action man
comes complete with eagle eyes and flexible limbs!

Having had a life-threatening spine tumour at Brighton in his younger years, he recovered amazingly to play on at non-league teams like Dorchester, Bognor and Havant & Waterlooville before he was spotted by AFC Bournemouth and signed a three year deal in October 201l. It seems that he has been around longer. He is "part of the furniture" as they say. 

Wes is a battler and jumped from non-league to League One with no difficulties. I would expect a lot of the players in the team to admire his rise to fame and you always know that he will put in a shift for the team every time he appears. The way he gives his all has made him a bit of a utility player, but his strength has to be a winger and as a goalscorer. He could be viewed as a lucky player as things just seem to go right for him when it comes to the bounce of the ball or beating his man. Yet we can all see in the way he gets around the pitch that he has put in the hard graft to get to where he is now. It's his energy that really stands out though. 

Whether Mr Dynamo will get as much game time in the Championship as he did in League One is yet to be seen. No one has suggested that he could be on his way and he is a firm favourite with many of the supporters that I sit near. But what can he be thinking. He must be just bursting to make his debut in the Championship, like so many of our players.  

While he is going to have to try and grasp the chance to play when he can, the fact that players like Wes can keep his spirits up, when he has been waiting on the sidelines to come on, is testimony to the closeness of this squad and the team's spirit. Simply put, Wes is one of the lads who gives all to help the team and that kind of attitude gives strength to the knowledge that the lads are all in it together to get the wins. That team spirit is going to be tested next season. Indeed, Wes will be tested next season.

Yet, you know there will be no slowing down for Foggy. For those that are old enough to remember McFadden & Whitehead you'll soon be singing "
Ain't no stoppin' us now, we're on the move", because Foggy never stops running. He will hit the Championship full on at 100 miles an hour snapping at the heels of fellow professionals and I suspect as usual he will surprise most of us more than a few times, because it's easy to forget what a good player he really is to have around.

Tuesday, 25 June 2013

It's a foul game at times

There are no prizes for guessing the player who commits the most fouls in an AFCB shirt. Yeah, you thought it was Mr Arter didn't you? Well actually, you are wrong according to the Npower League stats it is Matt Ritchie on 51 fouls compared to Harry's 42. Matt must have picked up quite a few fouls playing for Swindon Town before he came to Bournemouth. Still Harry did pick up 12 yellows and one red compared to Matt's 8 yellow cards.

Arter not the biggest culprit of the unfair tackle,
now there's a surprise.
But at times, teams need a ball winner or go-getter who pressurises others into mistakes and without this hound-like quality, that Arter possess, it would be hard to get the upper hand on some teams. His scurrying around is designed to unsettle the opposition, but our players are well down the list of top those who committed fouls.

So what of discipline in the Championship, can Bournemouth expect an easier ride? Well the stats look fairly similar. Cardiff and Hull who gained promotion don't really feature too highly among the sides committing the most fouls, but Crystal Palace had the top two offenders in Glenn Murray and Mile Jedinak.

It seems usual for forwards to be the main culprits with Dave Kitson having topped the League One stats, so perhaps the midfield hard men get a bit of a raw deal in terms of being tarnished as the big foul merchants. It's simply not the case. It's the strikers who are not the best tacklers more often than not.

AFCB's game is not really based on aggression though and it is most likely that we will be the recipients of poor challenges more often than being the ones handing them out. Eddie Howe says that the teams in the Championship try to play more football so it may well be the case that Arter and Ritchie will set about things slightly differently at times, but it's important that our ball winners come to terms with the pace of the Championship right from the start. The art of tackling well is something that they will be aiming to do.


Monday, 24 June 2013

The battle for starting places starts now

With the arrival of Elliott Ward and the likelihood of one or two further players coming into AFCB's squad who are said to be of quality, the competition for a starting place in the team is going to be frantic over the next few weeks. At the back we have Cook saying that he wants to learn from Ward, when perhaps inside he is really thinking is that I want to keep him out of the side for as long as possible. Then there is Miles Addisson who will be looking to try and find a way back into the team and Joe Partington has been told that he can shine in this company.

Recent transfer gossip has linked the Cherries with Ian Harte as a possible player to come in to rival Charlie Daniels and Stephen Purches for the left back spot. The right back place seems to be Simon Francis. The early transfer rumours about other Championship clubs being interested in him seem to have died down now. The position of right back is one that has been covered by Stephane Zubar and Steve Cook in the past, although Wes Fogden has also done a job there.

Moving into midfield I can see O'Kane, Hughes, and MacDonald having their own private battle for one of the central midfield shirts to be paired with Arter, while Ritchie will be trying to keep Fraser and Fogden at bay, plus McDermott. Pugh will similarly have to keep ahead of McQuoid.

No further news on Arter being linked to Norwich or QPR does not surprise me. I think he has to prove himself in the Championship before such clubs would come in for him, but it really depends what else is available to such clubs and at what price.

Up front you can see last season's two leading strikers, Pitman and Grabban, getting the striker shirts but will the club go back in for Danny Ings or have they another target they can get in on a free transfer?

All the time the team will be under pressure to perform in training and throughout the rest of June and July. Possible injuries could yet make Eddie Howe change his views on who should be starting that first game against Charlton on 3 August.

The front runners to be starters, if fit, are probably: Allsop, Francis, Elphick, Daniels, Arter, Ritchie, Pugh, Pitman and Grabban. That only leaves two spaces that are up for grabs and O'Kane and Ward seem most likely to claim those places. So if Howe is to bring in quality to replace what we have I think he is most likely to be looking at an extra full back (right or left footed) and the striker he clearly wants, be it Ings or another player.

Some of the rest of the squad may already be having talks knowing that they are on their way out. I would think we can expect some movement in the next couple of weeks.

Eddie Howe is a big pull factor to the South coast

For most of the players it will be back to work today. I can't say fitness tests is probably what they are all looking forward to, with the exception of Simon Francis perhaps. Still, there is one face I am sure they are all looking forward to seeing.

The lure of having the chance to work for Eddie Howe is undoubtedly something that has a particular resonance with many players. Elliott Ward has already discussed his decision to come to Bournemouth was largely influenced by his talk with Eddie and the opportunity to work on his game with one of the best young managers there is in the game. That's not saying that a DVD may also have had some influence, but even that was organised by Eddie.

We have already seen that the highly talented young Ryan Fraser was prepared to up sticks from Aberdeen to work for Eddie Howe and Bournemouth, and the attraction has been just as strong with many others of our current crop and previous teams under Eddie. He has some magical presence that is keenly felt in his desire to succeed, and while he gives off a calm and relaxing vibe his eyes seem constantly fixed, calculating what words have been said and how to reply in a manner that expresses his true feelings.

Yeah, Eddie Howe is an honest guy. His manner and his soft spoken words do not portray the deep inner instinct he has to be a winner and to succeed. Perhaps behind doors he has a temper, can be flustered or frustrated but I doubt it. Everything seems to just wash off him and it's a quality that I bet a lot of us wish we had.

While many would expect him to be a bit intimidated by having to go back to Turf Moor in November, he simply shrugs it off as part of the territory that comes with the job. It's more important that the players can perform he admitted in a recent interview on Cherries Player. And that's Eddie all over, it's the players that he is thinking of first. Their worries, their concerns, are they happy? Can he put things right? Can he make a difference? Get that extra five per cent out of them that other managers can't.

AFCB are truly blessed. With Eddie anything is possible. In Eddie we trust. UTCIAD!

All Departments Episode 4 - Tales from The South End

Episode 4 of All Departments podcast is out today and features a chat with Steve Jenkins, editor-in-chief of the long running Tales from The South End website. Michael and Steve discuss the newly released fixtures, transfers and what our beloved Cherries need to succeed in the Championship.

Michael would like to thank everyone who listened to and helped spread the word about episode 3, which has had over 1000 hits so far.

You can listen to All Departments for free by subscribing through iTunes, RSS or other methods listed in the Ways To Listen section on the website You can also catch up on previous podcasts here.

If you are interested in coming on All Departments, want to say your piece or have any ideas or feedback on the show, get in touch by e-mailing: You can also follow on Twitter: @alldepartments
You can get in touch with Steve at Twitter @TFTSE

Sunday, 23 June 2013

The ladies game and confession time

Last night was AFC Bournemouth Ladies' End of Season Awards evening and I hope to bring you some news of the event (no pressure Sammy).

In the meantime, I have a confession to make. I have not yet seen a live Ladies football game and it's something that I need to put right next season. While I have watched many games on TV of the fairer sex playing, especially the England ladies team and a few cup finals I have to say I will be a novice to see a match of AFC Bournemouth Ladies.

That's not to say that I don't look out for their results and see how they are doing. I am hoping that I can see the team in action shortly, and it could be another good excuse to come down to Bournemouth. If you have not already had a look at their great website please do give it a visit. It's a great site and is well kept up to date with news.

I find it quite exciting to see the growth of the ladies game really starting to rise and I hope that it can continue to get better TV and press coverage. The leagues are quite small at the moment but some of the football I have seen from the armchair has been excellent. It is fast moving and at the top level the England team has a very high profile.

The importance of the ladies game has now been recognised in magazines like Twentyfour7football which dedicates a section of the magazine every month to female stars and the latest games. The Olympic legacy's promise to boost up an coming sports like ladies football will require us to get off our living room sofas and go and see some of the games.

I am sure there are many young Junior Cherry girls who might like to have a crack at being a professional footballer and I do feel that opportunities are now there for them to go and achieve such ambitions in this country.

Have you been to an AFC Bournemouth Ladies game? Did you enjoy it? Were you surprised at the good level of football played?   

Donal: Express yourself...come on and do it!

Irishman Donal McDermott has not been talked about too much of late. He featured quite heavily early on last season in the squad and yet did not get seen often when the team managed to put its strong run together that eventually got the Cherries promoted. Donal made 8 first team appearances in 2012/13 and 6 of those were as a substitute.

Donal with Fletch and Tubbs during the warm up before the
Colchester away game near then end of last season.

I was encouraged when we signed him permanently in January 2012 from Huddersfield Town, but that excitement over his dribbling and shooting ability as well as his creative spark is not something we have seen of late at Dean Court. This coming season he really needs to climb the ladder and get himself in front of Eddie and Jason and prove to them that he is the player that so thrilled us all during the end of the 2010-11 season, and the play-off games we had against Huddersfield when he scored that terrific goal in the 1st leg at Bournemouth.

What do we want Donal to do? 'Express Yourself' as the lyrics in NWA's 1980s hit would say. I would love to hear AFCB fans chanting 'Express Yourself, ...Donal...Donal... Do it .. Do it well'  Express Yourself, Come On, Come On.. Donal do it well.' You can see I'm a lost in the 80s child!

Having not played a great deal, I do suspect that if Donal cannot get into the first team or win a place even on the bench, he is one that is likely to be encouraged to at least go out on loan. At 23 he is still very young and it must be frustrating for him not to be playing more regularly. The Development squad does not have as many games or play at the same kind of intensity as the first team and Donal is good enough to play in the Championship in my opinion. I don't want him to be sold if he can make the grade, because he can be so exciting on the ball.

Hopefully, he is coming back to the Goldsands Stadium with the attitude to get his head down and really do everything he can to impress Eddie and Jason. He is not alone in being in his situation, but I believe Donal can step up his game and become a player of better value at AFCB. The friendlies offer a good opportunity for him to impress.

I would like to see him get a chance at some stage to play in midfield, possibly even centrally behind the front two. The competition is really tough for him, but it's up to Donal to give the management that option by regaining some of his past form and showing it to them on a regular basis on the training ground. Express yourself Donal!

Saturday, 22 June 2013

Did I hear three at the back?

With the arrival of Elliott Ward to add to the defensive strength at AFCB, I am sure I heard Eddie Howe just drop a hint that AFCB might line up in one or two games next season with a slightly different formation from what we have been accustomed to seeing.

Indeed, he mentioned the possibility of having a back three when being interviewed about Elliott on Cherries Player. With the likes of Elphick, Cook, Ward, Francis, Daniels, Partington, Zubar and Purches we do have some good players who could play in a back three.

Are we looking at an AFCB back three?

Moreover, with the riches we have in midfield it would really be a chance to play five strong players there as well. Other Championship teams might not be too used to coming up against such a system either. Wigan successfully applied the formation in the Premiership for many seasons under Martinez, but even they are unlikely to play that way in the Championship under Owen Coyle.

Picking and choosing the games when we can play to our strengths will be something that Eddie Howe and Jason Tindall will have to look closely at. If we face teams that have two big forwards that are being hit with long, diagonal, balls all the time it will be hard to defend against with a back three, rather than the two central defenders. 

Playing from the back though is something that Eddie Howe encourages and it has served other teams in the Championship like Brighton and Watford very well. The importance of us winning our home games will really be evident from the start of next season, and if that means we have to be even more positive than usual a back three might provide the basis for that with more of our players up the field.

What do you feel AFCB perhaps setting up with Ward, Elphick and Cook at the back and Daniels and Francis pushed up into midfield? Interesting? Frightening?

By the way, Cherry Chimes hopes to be looking at tactics and simulated action replays of goals in AFCB games, in minute detail, throughout next season in a new section called Know HOWE. Look out for the preview coming soon. 

Friday, 21 June 2013

Temporary covered stand - who should it be for?

I was suddenly faced with quite a few tweets as soon as the Championship fixtures came out from Charlton fans. They were very interested in coming to Dean Court for the first game of the season, but what they were most wanting to know is how many fans could get in the new temporary covered stand and would it all be for away fans?

All I could say is that no decision had yet been made on whether it was for Bournemouth fans, away fans or to be shared. 
While the stand will be covered, it will not have anything in the way of facilities so fans will have to visit the Main stand or the East stand for refreshments.
Charlton fans seemed surprised that it might not be for away fans and that they could still be squashed into part of the East stand, I began to think that it maybe that we will not see that many away fans at our ground next season simply because there will not be enough space for them.

We have been told the new South stand will hold 2350 people, increasing Dean Court's capacity to around 12,000. Rob Mitchell, AFCB's Commercial Director suggested at a recent AFC Business meeting that the capacity might only go up to 11,500.

If away teams ask for allocations of 2000 or more seats for fans I would expect that the South stand would be given up for away supporters alone. At least it would be easier to police than a split stand with both sets of supporters. I believe the east stand can hold around 1500 away supporters or so.

While our own AFCB season ticket sales continue to rise the need to find more home supporter space will put pressure on the club to restrict the amount of away supporters comming to the ground. We have some interesting decisions for the club to make on the temporary covered stand. What do you all feel about it? Does it give away teams an advantage if they have all of the temporary stand with their supporters all at one end? Are you happy with away fans being in the East stand?

New pictures of the Temporary stand preparations and the ground are now up on AFCB's facebook page today.

Thursday, 20 June 2013

Tommy Elphick can lead AFCB to greater success

With the fixture list now out, there is one man that will be looking to lead the team to even greater success in the coming months, our captain Tommy Elphick.

Why is it that I feel strangely comforted when I hear the AFCB fans sing 'Tommy...,Tommy, Tommy, Tommy, Tommy Elphick' ringing out to the sound of 2 Unlimited's 'There's No Limit'? A signature tune that is very apt for a player that could lead the Cherries to places that the club has never been before. His goal seems to be to take the club even higher and under his captaincy I can see an underlying will to succeed.

Heads up for Tommy at Colchester.

We all saw how disorganised and haphazard the Cherries defence was against Leyton Orient in the away defeat we suffered last season to know that some of the goals the team let in simply would not have happened had Tommy been on the pitch. When I watch Tommy I find that he does go about his business in a majestic sort of way. He never seems out of position and reads the game well, watching for the quick ball over the top or moving up on attackers so he can make those crucial tackles when it matters and set the team on its way again.

We all know that vocally he is a leader and his encouragement to others around him has helped the belief grow among the squad. Why is it that Steve Cook looks a better player when he plays with Tommy alongside him? Why is it that Harry Arter seems to find more space to receive the ball when Elphick is looking for him? To me these are all signs that Tommy is the catalyst for a lot of the things that are going right for AFCB. He is a fulcrum around which the other players can breathe confidence and look to express themselves, knowing that they have a solid minder at the back.

You probably won't see Tommy beating three players in a row, he keeps things simple and yet can also find a midfield splitting pass when required. It's good that we have some unassuming players in the side and Tommy is one of those who adds a balance to the team. I hope he is the captain for many years to come, because more than anything he is a winner.

Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Conducting transfer business in private

It won't have escaped your notice that AFCB has suddenly made two summer signings and I don't remember any agents directing Cherry fans to either player before the announcements. In a way, I was not too concerned about the lack of activity, because the management seems to have faith in the players it already has at the club and are only looking to add one or two more experienced Championship players to the mix.

What I don't quite understand is how certain agents seem to link the club with just about any player that have previously played for the Cherries or who has a price-tag that is far in advance of anything the club could possibly afford. This period is certainly the silly period. I would rather AFCB wait and hold its cards close to its chest as the transfer window progresses. That way, with our business being done in secret rather than through the public airwaves we might actually get players at reasonable prices, like Elliot Ward on a free transfer.

Eddie Howe seems to make pretty good signings. In the January Window he certainly went for youth in signing Harry Cornick, Ryan Allsop and Ryan Fraser. T
his time around, if the club does go for more experience it will mean higher wage earners. While most of the players at AFCB have only been here a few years you would suspect that their salaries are fairly closely contained and not a wide spread, considering we were only playing League One football when they would have signed.

Now the dimensions will change. Players coming to Championship clubs expect good wages and it will be important that the club does not bust its pay structure or contribute to an unhappy dressing room with regards to pay. The fact that young players have come into the team and have done well like, Eunan O'Kane, Steve Cook and Ryan Allsop bodes well for the future. 

Mouthwatering fixtures for AFCB

The waiting is over. At last the NPower Championship League fixtures have been announced. Bournemouth will be playing Charlton Athletic at home in its first game of the 2013-14 season on 3rd August. Memories of two and three seasons ago, if I remember rightly, when we had Charlton away for the first games in League One.

The Christmas period will see the Cherries play Yeovil Town at home on 26 December and Brighton away on 1 January. These games are going to be hugely popular. It was Yeovil at home last Boxing Day as well!

Easter will also be a busy period with Sheffield Wednesday at home on Saturday 19 April and Ipswich away on Easter Monday 21 April 2014. The last home game is against Nottingham Forest on 26 April 2014.

The final match of the season for AFCB, on 3rd May 2014, will be against Millwall away.  Let's all hope that we have something to celebrate then.

The full fixture list is on the Official AFC Bournemouth website.

Meanwhile, the Southern Daily Echo is reporting that Eddie Howe is looking to sign talented England U-20 midfielder James Ward-Prowse from Southampton FC on a season long loan.

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Elliott Ward is AFCB's first big summer signing

Well everyone was taken by surprise when AFCB announced its first big summer signing tonight (16 year old goalkeeper Jordan Holmes was signed yesterday). The signature of Elliott Ward on a one-year deal will add experience to the battle for central defenders, but the short term of the contract is intriguing after most of our players are on three year contracts. Perhaps Elliott's age of 28 is a consideration and whether he felt he would get enough playing time to sign for a two-year deal. The wages may also mean a one-year deal was the best the club could offer.

No matter, we have another experienced defender which immediately will get everyone wondering whether Miles Addison will fight for a place or if his days at the Cherries are numbered. Surely Eddie will want as big a squad as the club can afford if Miles is capable of competing for a first team spot along with Ward. It is going to take something special to dislodge Cook and Elphick but we certainly need some top rate cover in case of injuries.

When was the last time signed an ex-Premiership player? Darren Anderton comes to mind. Oh, yes the last one of course was David James, although he came from a Championship side at the time. Still the signings are certainly bigger than the lower leagues now. UTCIAD!

I am trying to find out from my Plymouth contact what he remembers about Elliott and if I hear something I'll up date you all on how he did down there.

Okay, Plymouth fan view just in:

I remember Elliott. He came to us on loan, I think Tony Pulis was manager. He was a very good defender for us. Best player we had and the manager got the best out of him. We tried to buy him but could not afford the £1m price tag.

Sorry to say, however, after keeping tabs on him elsewhere, I think he went to Coventry after us and perhaps got lazy. He must have pulled his socks up though at Norwich. Hopefully, you can keep him motivated especially with your manager.

Argyle can only dream of signing a player of his quality.

Colin Waite.

Player selection conundrum

Eddie Howe will have to quickly assess the fitness of his squad when they come back to training in the next few days. While some will have summered well others will be in need to pick up the pace of their fitness. Eddie has sport science expert Dan Hodges and performance analyst Garavan Stewart to guide him and Steve Hard will no doubt be checking on any injuries. Things are going to start to get busy.

I suspect that is only after working out who is most ready that Eddie's player plans for the friendly fixtures are likely fall into place. He may well have some ideas of who he already wants to play in some games, but at this stage of the season I imagine nothing can be set in concrete. Plans for the German-cased pre-season camp and Zurich match will be uppermost in everyone's mind after the League fixtures have been announced.

The way the dice has rolled to bring up two Portsmouth fixtures in the space of a couple of weeks is quite freaky. Both Guy Whittingham and Eddie Howe will have to out whit each other as to their line ups for the second tie for the Capital One match. It has been customary for AFCB to give a second or third choice keeper the chance to play in such cup games and I expect this to be the case.

I do expect Eddie to keep a fairly familiar back four for the second game but perhaps Zubar, Addisson or Purches might win some game time in the friendly with Pompey. Both games might come too soon for Partington, but we will find out soon enough.

It's in the midfield and up front where Eddie has lots of selection dilemmas but I don't feel that is a great problem to have. While Matt Ritchie is keen to face his old club he may only get the one outing as I'm sure most of us would like to see Ryan Fraser given a real opportunity.

There are others too who will be lining up to impress Eddie. As for the front men it could be any one's guess who plays there for the first match, but I am intrigued to know what is going to happen with strikers that have been out on loan and of course if we do bring someone new in like Danny Ings. May be we will know a lot more before we come round to the double-header Portsmouth games.

There are some great opportunities for AFCB players in the next few weeks.

P.S. I see the BBC website has updated the league tables to put Bournemouth in the Championship but we are not at the top as they have not included AFC in front our own name!!

Championship fixtures are just a day away

The excitement in my house is already building for tomorrow when the 2013/14 Championship fixtures will be revealed for all to see. I can't imagine what the anticipation is like at Dean Court and around the town with so many supporters now tuned in to the new season that is fast approaching.

There was a fabulous article on how the fixtures are arranged and compiled at the weekend in the Observer. James Riach offers a real insight into complicated the procedure of fixture arranging. But who would it really be best for AFCB to be playing in the first 10 games? While we have no control over such matters, it is important for the Cherries to get off to a good start in what is going to be a highly competitive league.

To be honest, I am not to sure who would be good to play early on. It may be that the teams that we came up with - Yeovil and Doncaster - are not the ones that we want to get early on as they have settled sides and are going to be just as keen as the Cherries are to make their mark in the division. It may seem slightly mad but I would not be disappointed to be drawn against the likes of QPR, Reading or Wigan early on for the simple reason that they are probably most likely to have new players. They also may be unsettled at being favourites to win and might feel the weight of expectation on their shoulders. At the end of the day though we have to play all the teams twice, so it's not worth getting too worried about. 

Overall, I hope that we have a good spread of the most keenly awaited games through the season. I don't really want all the northern teams in one block or all the nearest fixtures straight away. It will be important for most of us fans to see who we play over the Christmas and New Year period as well as the Easter holidays and who we end up playing last at home.

Soon there will be no more waiting. Once those fixtures are announced we will know how hard our fate is in the first few games and where the difficult part of the season will be. Whatever the case I know we will all enjoy the ride. UTCIAD!

At least we know it's not Bolton, Burnley, Derby or Blackburn first up on the 3rd August as they are playing against each other that weekend as two of the games to mark the league's 125th anniversary.

Monday, 17 June 2013

Cherries to play Pompey in Capital One Cup

The draw was made this morning for the first round of the League Cup and Bournemouth were sensationally drawn against Portsmouth. The game is to be played on the week commencing 5 August. AFCB also play Pompey in a pre-season friendly in July at Dean Court.

Bournemouth played Pompey at the start of last season in the Johnstone's Paint Trophy and in the League early on. There was not much between the two sides with a draw in the league and 4-3 defeat in the cup. Bournemouth did manage to win 2:0 against Pompey in the home league game later on in February.

I guess we are going to know all about Portsmouth FC with two games lined up against them. It is quite good to be playing them in a competitive fixture as we won't face them in the Championship. While it does not give AFCB an easy route through to the second round, I think it will be another great occasion and both teams will really be looking to use the game as a marker early on in the season.

Bournemouth are the favourites to come through this tie and I don't see why the Cherries can't score another victory over their near rivals.

The Full draw

Bury v Crewe Alexandra
Shrewsbury Town v Bolton
Middlesbrough v Accrington Stanley
Doncaster Rovers v Rochdale
Preston v Blackpool
Barnsley v Scunthorpe
Tranmere v Mansfield Town
York v Burnley
Notts County v Fleetwood Town
Sheffield United v Burton Albion
Oldham v Derby
Carlisle v Blackburn
Morecambe v Wolves
Nottingham Forest v Hartlepool
Leeds v Chesterfield
Huddersfield v Bradford
Rotherham v Sheffield Wednesday
Port Vale v Walsall
Gillingham v Bristol City
AFC Bournemouth v Portsmouth
Wycombe v Leicester
Brentford v Dagenham and Redbridge
Exeter City v QPR
Charlton v Oxford United
Southend United v Yeovil
Millwall v AFC Wimbledon
Swindon v Torquay United
Birmingham v Plymouth Argyle
Stevenage v Ipswich
Cheltenham v Crawley
Bristol Rovers v Watford
Northampton Town v MK Dons
Leyton Orient v Coventry
Colchester United v Peterborough
Brighton v Newport County

Where does Rocky rate against other Championship keepers?

Ryan Allsop has had a great start to his career at AFCB. His penalty save at Oldham has been the catalyst for some excellent displays that have given the team and especially the back four the confidence to record several clean sheets at the end of last season. In the Championship he will have to stop some top class strikers but how does Cherry Chimes rate him against the best shot stoppers in the Championship?

QPR's Brazilian Julio Cesar has to be one of the keepers I am hoping to see next season if he remains at Loftus Road. I just wonder how much larger that goal difference of -30 would have been for QPR is they had kept Rob Green in goal. I can see Cesar leaving QPR though over the summer.

Kasper Schmeichel is a master at making great saves. I can't understand why a Premiership club has not come in for him yet, but there's time yet. He is only 26 and would make a good buy for a top team. Still, teams like West Ham and Fulham have chosen to look elsewhere this summer.

Manuel Almunia at Watford has already played in the Premiership and while all the pundits have raved about Watford's Udinese players, the former Arsenal keeper has been busily doing his work in keep other teams out at the other end.

Rocky could well be our star player next season.

So what has Rocky to do to start challenging these players to be Championship goalkeeper each month? Well, I am hoping that he is working on building that understanding with the back four. We know that Tommy Elphick is loud and clear but the keeper must also call for the ball when it is his to claim. Ryan's kicking, positioning and reactions will be tested like never before.

My only worry is if he does lose his nerve. We haven't really seen him under great pressure yet to stay in the team. It's only this coming season when we will see how good he is. In some ways it is good that we have an experienced back up in Darryl Flahavan ready to step in and challenge Ryan for the keeper's jersey. As for Jalal, I have already said that he needs to concentrate more and Benjamin Buchel still has time to improve.

Where does Ryan start the season against these other keepers? He is bound to be behind them in terms of experience having not played a Championship game, but its all about how quickly he learns, takes responsibility and enjoys playing in bigger stadiums against better teams. I bet it's a challenge he is really looking forward to. Potential player of the year in 2013/14?

Happy Birthday Ryan!!

Those of you keeping up with the latest news will also know that AFCB has just  signed a 16 year old keeper called Jordan Holmes, an Australian, who was on trial with AFCB last Easter.

Sunday, 16 June 2013

Transfer watch - early days for AFCB

Eddie Howe is very keen to get the right personnel in for the new season and not too many additions. After one failed bid for Danny Ings the phone lines have gone very quiet, but behind the scenes I am sure activity is in full swing to find a new striker and possibly another defender. Our midfield looks pretty strong, so Eddie might not look to do business in this area this summer.

It's down to business for Eddie and Jason.

There are a few players that Howe is probably considering if the Ings deal is a dead one. A player that he has worked with before is Lyle Taylor who signed for AFCB in 2010 and has had a big season in Scottish First Division. Lyle would be a slightly cheaper option and is of similar age to Danny and has been quickly gaining experience at Falkirk. Is he now a different player to what we saw at AFCB?

Don't be surprised if Eddie and Jason have also been looking at young stars in League One like Febian Brandy at Walsall (Crawley Town), Adam Rooney (Swindon) or Sam Baldock (Bristol City). 
If Eddie is looking for more of a powerful player one of the candidates could be Leon Clarke who is currently at Coventry City, but I still think Eddie will encourage Wes Thomas to mend bridges and fulfil this role in the squad. I can hear you all groaning!

I don't believe Eddie's budget will enable him to go after the likes of Charlie Austin, but if he can look at experienced players in the Championship I expect he would be checking on David McGoldrick (Ipswich - played on loan at AFCB in 2007), Dexter Blackstock (Nottingham Forest) or Dwight Gayle (Peterborough), but the Fair Play rules will inhibit AFCB from making really big signings.

Of the young defenders in the Championship that caught they eye last year, Sam Byram (Leeds) is one candidate that stood out, but Leeds would demand a high price for the 19 year old. Tottenham's Adam Smith may become available again after his loan period with Millwall ended this summer and is a player AFCB know well.

Central defenders with experience could be poached from north of the boarder like Craig Barr (Livingston) or Craig Reid  (Morton). It's very hard to know how wide Eddie might cast the net in his search.

If permanent signings are what the club wants, then I would expect them to try and conclude deals before the Zurich pre-season match. If so, expect some activity in the next two weeks.

However, it's the loan market where Eddie might look to do more of his business and why we have not seen any activity so far. He'll be waiting for the latter part of the transfer window, when the loan moves are usually sorted out. It may be that this is also the way in which Eddie will look to whittle down our current crop of players by allowing several to be loaned out.

Training ground moves

It won't be long before AFCB are back on those training pitches. It's common for football teams to say that they learn some set moves on the training pitch to take into every game. If there is ever a good time to practise some new ones surely during pre-season would be a good time.

Of the AFCB special moves our corner set-pieces seem to fool quite a few teams. I can't believe teams don't watch the Football League show or Sky Sports or have videos of their opponents special free kicks. And yet, dopey defenders seem to consistently misread set plays. While I would not want set plays to distract from our coaching of the club's football principles and correct defending, it would give us a few more ways to score if we had more set moves. It would also give our defenders practise at defending against corners and free kicks. We are not the biggest of teams and I am hoping that Eddie and Jason can give the team the ability to be more resilient.

Eddie Howe said last week that he will not abandon his football principles and that way that AFCB plays, so it will be interesting to see how successful we are with teams knowing that we are going to come at them with our fast passing and moving game. "Being brave" is an interesting comment that Eddie makes. His choice of words would seem to say not reckless or gung-ho, but more progressive and having confidence in your ability to get the better of your opponent. Football is a team game but there are a lot of personal battles that have to be won all over the pitch and I'm sure Eddie encourages players to win those individual battles. We want defenders to be pushed back and our wingers trying to beat the full backs.

I would expect the defending to be better than League One in terms of defence, although Sheffield Utd and MK Dons managed more clean sheets than Cardiff in the Championship. I guess you have to say the level of attackers ability is also higher in the Championship, so perhaps it evens itself out. Certainly many of the goals that are scored come from set plays and as Eddie Howe said the quality of play in both boxes is just a step up on what we have been used to.

While we pride ourselves on great open play at AFCB, there is no shame in having a few special free kicks and corner routines to use in the Championship. We may not be able to steam roller teams like we did in League One and our possession is likely to be less in away games than it was last season. I expect defences to be on top and that is why AFCB must learn the lessons of last season and at times it is not so bad to win ugly.

A few 1:0 victories that come from a set play would be points earned on the training ground and executed on the pitch. Nothing wrong with that in my book.

Saturday, 15 June 2013

A calmer Eddie Mitchell in the Championship?

While our Chairman is perhaps known as one of the most colourful characters when he was happy to speak out at fans on the pitch and discuss his views openly in front of the cameras in League One, the club is speaking with more of a united voice these days.

In past seasons we have been entertained with Eddie's verbal expressions of passion for the club and his anger at those who did not share his views. Of late, Mr Mitchell has bot been so vocal except when the end was nigh for Paul Groves and Shaun Brooks. Since then it has been mainly smiles from our larger than life chairman. 

To be fair he has had no reason complain about much that has been happening over the last six months. He has seen his decision (or was it his wife's?) to bring back Eddie Howe and Jason Tindall come off exceptionally well, the team has performed above most peoples' expectations and he still has more building projects under way.

So why do I think Eddie Mitchell may choose his words more carefully in the Championship? Well, I feel the club has been striving for better communication with its fans for a while now and it is starting to show. The recent question about which kit to wear in the final home game was quickly resolved when the fans asked for it to stay the red and black home kit rather than the new all black third kit. Better communication with the fans and the media in general is a real positive for AFCB.

That's not to say that controversy is easy to avoid. Just look at the problems clubs like Blackburn Rovers have had with the Venky family. Bolton have had a dressing down over their sponsorship deal and Cardiff's Malaysian tie-up through its owner has proved particularly troublesome. 
The need for such big teams to achieve Premiership football seems to drive them to some crazy decisions. The pressure in the Championship will be on for Middlesbrough, Nottingham Forest, Reading, Blackburn, Leeds, Bolton and Birmingham. For AFCB it is a chance to enjoy our newly won position and hopefully play with the shackles off unlike many other sides.

Undoubtedly, the spotlight will really be on our club though as a newcomer to the Championship, but at the end of the day the club is in it together. I expect AFCB to concentrate on getting the important things right, on and off the pitch. Mr Mitchell and the club have done a pretty good job in this respect in the last few months. 

The cinema is just the ticket for Junior Cherries

When most of the football league is discussing safe standing, Junior Cherries will have more of a mind to be taking a seat at the cinema if it is raining now that AFCB has signed a deal with Empire Cinemas. This is another great win for Junior Cherries who will get even more value from their membership. While it is not an active fitness activity like the Spalshdown tie-up, I am sure that Junior Cherries will be keen to see the latest blockbusters when AFCB are not playing.

How do you feel about the link up? With 16 venues across the country even exiled Junior Cherries should be able to get to a screen. Makes me want to be eight years old again. 

Friday, 14 June 2013

Does it matter which AFCB games are televised?

I was pondering the new season and the games AFCB will be playing. Some of those games will be televised for sure and I was considering whether it was better for the club that the TV cameras come for a certain game and if it helps not to be a derby match?

On the last few occasions that I have witnessed the cameras at Dean Court it has been for derby matches like Southampton or Brighton. Last year Fratton Park had cameras for the Bournemouth games as well. Derby matches seem to excite the TV world as they expect huge gates and viewing figure. But with a team like the Cherries when we have a match against Brighton, for example, most of us will be there already watching the game. We don't have 20,000 fans to see the game on TV as well.

For supporters it might be of more interest for us to have the cameras down when we play Burnley at home because of the recent history and it would give Burnley fans who can't make the trip a chance to see their team get beaten by Eddie Howe's Cherries (couldn't resist the wind up). QPR could be another one, when Harry Redknapp returns to Dean Court that might attract media interest and help put the Cherries on the map.

With so many of us being season ticket holders it is perhaps in most AFCB fans' interest that we get an away game televised. Moreover, a game that is a long way from home that is difficult for Cherry supporters to get to. So Middlesbrough or Bolton would be good for us fans, but not for TV companies. TV stations need to dress games up and have a reason for showing them and while it might be appealing to them to think of the battle of the seaside towns of Blackpool and Bournemouth, it does not have the same meaning as Brighton v Bournemouth.

I am sure the TV companies have their own reasons for choosing particular games and the fixture list will determine when they can come to Bournemouth, but I hope they look a bit beyond the south coast rivalry this coming season.

Thursday, 13 June 2013

Cherry Chimes attends AFCB's Business evening

Last night I attended the AFC Bournemouth business evening at Sevens Boat Shed in Poole for AFCB business members and any interested fans who wanted to come along. While the weather was abysmal with the torrential rain outside perhaps putting some off from attending and sampling the wine and canapes, those who did attend had plenty to talk about.

The Sevens Boat Shed venue

Nigel Hedges of the Bournemouth Chamber of Trade and Commerce got the evening under way with a brief welcome speech. Rob Mitchell, the club's commercial director, then updated attendees on how AFCB was preparing for the new season which is fast approaching. He said that everyone was eagerly awaiting the fixtures next Wednesday with so many big clubs going to play the Cherries. Currently season ticket sales have topped 5500 up 2000 from 3500 sold last season.The Family Stand is completely sold out which Rob was particularly pleased about with the club having put so much effort into community projects and in attracting more families to AFCB. Of course, we know the club has already picked up the NPower Family Excellence Award in this respect.

As I was making the trip down to Poole it seemed a good opportunity to go over to Dean Court to see what was going on. I popped over despite the pouring rain to take a few snaps of the area being worked on for the new temporary stand and for the club shop extension. I guessed that you all might like to see what progress has been made. There were only three workmen by the South stand and they were busy cutting up iron grids, but the ground for the footings seemed to be coming along with small stakes lined out on the now level ground.

Not sure if I could get near at first.
Found my way in. Photos taken 12 June 2013.

I expected to be chased off but it was so wet no one
seemed to mind that I took some snaps.

This is going to look so different in a few weeks time.
Rob said the new temporary stand will take capacity at the Goldsands Stadium up to 11,500 capacity. Still no news though yet on whether it will be for all away fans or split with home fans, but I was told that time lapse photography has been sorted out on the South stand as it goes up, so we should see a movie on that some time in the future on the AFCB official website. For those who like the Wall of Fame, I heard that they would be looked at in terms of   the posters that are exposed to everything that the elements can throw at them. I think last time I looked some of the bottom corners of Eddie Howe's poster had started to lift.

The club shop extension is really moving along fast. Great big red steel girders are already in place and the scaffolding is well up on the the first floor. Charlie Daniels and Miles Addisson are looking on as a giant poster in one of the bottom windows. I guess you want to see some shop extension pictures as well. I'm spoiling you!

Side entrance for the shop then.

This is starting to look the business.
I wish I had one of those AFCB safety hats.
Charlie and Miles are ready to break out of the shop.
Meanwhile, back at the Boat Shed it was good to be told that the club has also been building its business club members which are now 1100 members and the target is to raise this to 1500 by the Christmas period. 

When Rob had finished his speech, I quickly got the conversations on to Cherry Chimes and met with as many people as I could to see how they were involved in supporting AFCB. The people were very diverse and talked about all kinds of businesses like tyres, glass fitting, hotels, corporate events and entertainment and recruitment just for starters.   

It was particularly interesting to hear about how the hotels were looking forward to hearing the fixtures so that they could apply to away clubs to book their rooms early. The extra business that the Championship has brought to the town is giving local businesses a real buzz and an opportunity to do well in future months.

The next corporate events for AFCB include the Macmillan cancer bike ride on 7th July and the Golf day at the Dorset Golf and Country Club on 31 July. There is also a business breakfast on 10 July at the Goldsands Stadium. For more information visit: