Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Salisbury's sink their new Conference teeth into Cherries

Salisbury FC 4 v 0 AFCB Development Squad
31 July 2013
Attendance 400

The match against Salisbury FC was dubbed a chance for some triallists to go under the microscope, while some of our top development players like Matthews, Chiedozie and Wakefield would get more match experience. Picking Jalal in goal you would hope would give the team a bit of confidence, but with Warrne Feeney lining up against the Cherries as well as hot shot Ben Wright, the Cherries were in for a torrid evening at the Raymond McEnhill Stadium.
Here are the main Official AFCB tweets: 
After 10 minutes, only a fine finger tip save stops Sam Matthews opening the scoring from the edge of the area. Bright start for the Cherries! Then Baily Cargill brought down his man two minutes later in the box. Ben Wright scored from the spot to make it 1:0 to the Whites!
Trialist Elliott Legg replaced Baily Cargill on 19 minutes. Ben appeared to have injured himself conceding the penalty. Things were only getting worse as well for AFCB as on 24 minutes another penalty was awarded to Salisbury. Triallist Michael Parry committed the foul. And yes, GOAL to Salisbury 2-0 up on the Cherries. Shwan Jalal got a hand to Ben Wright's penalty but couldn't stop him scoring his second of the evening. Jalal will save a penalty one day I expect.
Little happened of not then until 36 minutes when Elliott Legg chipped over from 20 yards. Josh Wakefield also tried his luck, with 42 minutes gone, from the edge of the area but his shot also went over.                
Half-time: Salisbury 2-0 Cherries. The hosts are in front through two Ben Wright penalties.

On 46 minutes Jacob Cleaver and Emir Kujovic came on for Brandon Goodship and Jordan Chiedozie for the second half. And within seconds it was Salisbury 3-0 Cherries. Ben Wright converted from close range to complete his hat-trick. AFCB are learning all about Mr Wright this evening, no relation to Ian I suppose.

Before the hour mark it was 4-0 to Salisbury and Ben Wright was again the one who tapped it in.       
AFCB then made some subs on 60 minutes with Aristide Bassele and Mark Molesley are on for Josh Wakefield and Harry Cornick were taken off. Chad Collins and George Colson then came on after 66 minutes for Shwan Jalal and Sam Matthews, in a double substitution.
Finally, on 82 minutes Jack Simpson went on for Michael Kamara for the final few minutes.

The final score was 4:0 to Salisbury. Salisbury were clearly revved up for this one with their Conference campaign about to begin, but there will be much to think about for Hargreaves and Purches after this one. I hope they have learnt a lot.
Cherries XI: Jalal, McCarthy, Cargill, Parry, Kamara, Losasso, Matthews, Wakefield, Cornick, Chiedozie, Goodship      

Substitutes: Collins, Legg, Bassele, Molesley, Cleaver, Colson, Kujovic, Simpson

Surman bolsters AFCB's midfield

AFCB's new one-year loan signing, Andrew Surman of Norwich City is well known to fans of the Cherries. The South African midfielder played 24 games, scoring six times, for AFCB in a previous loan spell from Southampton, back in 2005-06. The move is perhaps a surprise as most of us were expecting a striker to come in, if any one, looking at the current situation.

Surman is 26 and fits with Howe's need for experienced players that are available with minimal outlay that will add depth to the squad. It does make me ask the question is there a move on for one of our midfielders headed out of the club? But Howe now says that we have a small squad in Championship terms. Perhaps he is just relating us to Watford, who have just signed half the population of Udinese.

I was amused that one AFCB fan tweeted that the shape of the team is likely to be 4-6-0, I think he forgot that Howe might be tempted by three at the back to give us 3-7-0! No, I still fancy us to start 4-4-2 or even 4-3-3.

The main thing is that we get the best shape available for the team with the personnel we have available for Charlton and the one which will cause them the most problems. I like the way Eddie is making us all guess. It means Chris Powell has no chance of knowing how we will play either.

Still time for another striker or two as well - keep the faith!

Switching positions

It's not easy to switch positions during a match and yet AFCB has players that all seem to be comfortable in playing in several different positions on the pitch. I don't think this is because they could always do this before they came to the club but it's part of Jason Tindall and Eddie Howe's desire to have players that can feel comfortable when they are not in their preferred position.

By enabling players to be able to fit into this type of thinking and be confident of their ability you can build up systems and triangles with players interchanging and moving around in a way that creates space and openings in the opposition's lines. I absolutely love seeing this and I hope we see more of it in the Championship. It's the kind of play that makes me feel confident that we are going to cause many of the so-called bigger teams a lot of problems next season.

Someone of the experience of Harry Redknapp at QPR knows exactly what the Cherries are capable of at Dean Court, so it's no wonder that he comes out with comments like he'd rather be playing at Old Trafford. It may be taking the compliment a little far but Harry knows that our players are comfortable on the ball. When the team is in top gear I think we have seen some of the best football that has been around in the lower leagues and the proof of this is not in our league position.

We are not just switching positions on the field like Joe Partington moving from midfield to defence, we are creating a team that can interchange players in positions as the game is in progress. It may end up that we switch positions as well with some of those bigger named clubs.

Looking forward to playing you Harry!

Purches has been racking up the minutes

It can't be easy to see lots of young new players all sparring for a spot in the first squad while you are also trying to regain your fitness after a horrific injury and taking on the new role coaching the Development squad, but Stephen Purches does not seem to rest on his laurels. Instead he quietly gets on with things and that has meant playing and coaching when the team played Christchurch, adding further minutes in his testimonial and valuable game time against Working and taking on the might of Real Madrid for 10 minutes.

You have to admit that Purches is committed to making a successful comeback. I don't see him being happy with being a fill in player in the Championship if he has the opportunity to play more first team football. That is going to be a difficult balancing act with his other duties, but if any one can do it Purchy can.

I was pleased to read all the great comments he had in his testimonial programme. Yet, I have been even more pleased that he has already moved on and is getting the minutes in during pre-season so that he really can play a vital role for the first team. His recovery could be a great bonus for Eddie Howe, because Purchy will put in 110 per cent and before his injury, in 2012, I think he was then probably our best player. If he can get back to that we really will have a new experienced player on our books.

Keep it going Purchy. We like what we have seen in pre-season.

Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Preview: Salisbury v AFCB Development squad

I have to admit as to not knowing much about Salisbury City FC. AFCB's Development squad will know a whole lot more though when they take them on at the Raymond McEnhill stadium at Old Sarum on Wednesday night. Chris Hargreaves and Stephen Purches will be checking over the triallists no doubt, while getting the squad's fitness up. I doubt Purchy will have a run out in this one although you never know.

Salisbury City FC now play in the Conference, so they are at a good level. They won promotion last season from the Conference South through the play-offs. Darrell Clarke left the manager's position in the summer and went to Bristol Rovers as their new assistant manager. 

Mikey Harris,28, was only appointed the Whites' manager this July, having been coach and assistant manager at the club for the past six years. Mikey is English football's youngest manager. The ground at Salisbury has a capacity of 5000 of which 500 is seated.

Ex-Bournemouth player Warren Feeney is player assistant manager at Salisbury City FC. Jamie White a 23-year old is their top striker scoring 27 goals last season to help the Whites reach promotion to the Conference. Ben Wright, 24, is another of their strikers recently bought from Forest Green Rovers. Chis McPhee, 30, is a dangerous and experienced midfielder at the club who will also be one to look out for.

It will be interesting who plays in goal for AFCB in this fixture as Allsop has not had many outings and may want some game time ahead of Saturday, if he is to play against Charlton. It is likely that Jordan Chiedozie will have the chance to extend his goal record at the top of this year's pre-season goal scorer's table.

For all those going to the game on Wednesday, have a good one.

How important is it that Ritchie plays against Charlton?

Matt Ritchie has not been seen in an AFCB shirt for a long time now. I believe his last outing was in the first half against FC Zurich. His absence from the training pitches and the starting line ups have not been good news for Howe and Tindall. If there is one player that they would like to be fit for Saturday it would be a player who has been the player of his division for the last two seasons. The only pleasing thing that AFCB fans can say is that we are blessed with many great wide players who can cover his position.

McDermott is one of those looking to impress this week.

The question is if Ritchie is not ready who would get the calling? I think we can rule out Fogey and McQuoid who are both yet to recover from their injury worries. That leaves Fraser, McDermott and Coulibaly as my favourites to battle for the place. It will be quite a real feather in the cap of one of these three if they do get the green light. It is possible that the job will be shared with perhaps one of the players covering 60 minutes and another doing the final half hour. Such a prospect is highly likely. Fraser and Coulibaly are probably still getting used to playing the AFCB way, while McDermott has been with the team the longest but is only just coming back to the form that we saw from him when he first came to the club.

This weeks training should be pretty tasty for these three but there are other battles going on in other areas for first team places as well. Eddie has a really busy week. 

Monday, 29 July 2013

Views from Dean Court today

Cherry Chimes made a quick visit to Dean Court this morning, mainly to exchange the headphones I had purchased last week which did not work. Still it gave me the chance to have a quick look around, and by 10:30am there was Eddie Howe and Jason Tindall shouting out instructions to about five players who were having some target practise.

I have to say that Harry Arter would have hit 'row M' with his first few shots but the two people that looked sharpest were Eddie Howe and Jason Tindall! Jason especially was throwing himself around and trying to score diving headers while Eddie was pleased to be barking the orders out and making the players go again, every few seconds. It was good to see that there was no let up today for those out training. Meanwhile, Josh McQuiod seemed to be back jogging around the perimeter fence. 

Here are the shots I took. Sorry I did not have the long zoom lens on me. The ground also looks amazing even when empty.

Eddie Howe far left in blue and Jason Tindall in the middle in blue tracksuit.

View from the Ted MacDougall and East stand corner.

Ted MacDougall stand, gleaming!

Main West stand
North stand, sponsored by Aerial Direct.

East stand.

back at the training ground - only a few players in view.

Does Eddie need to break the bank?

There has been a lot of talk in the last few days about whether AFCB need to bring in a new striker or, if not, two or three. While I do not want Eddie to go and break the bank to bring someone in, I am not sure if he will look to spend unless he does see a player with the right credentials at this stage. Since the early summer bid for Danny Ings we have only been signing free transfers and the budget is not going to allow for much more with these Financial Fair Play Rules.

We can 'um and ah' about who Eddie should bring in whether it be, Austin, Sharp, Ings, Mason, Vokes or Evans Blake to name a few, but he may well just resist the fan's clamour for reinforcements. Any striker that did come in would have to be able to play the AFCB way straight away and that would put Vokes and Ings ahead in my book. On the money front, I can't see Sharp or Austin as real candidates, however much we all like to dream. At least Evans-Blake could possibly be a free transfer and he did well last time around in the Championship in front of goal, even if Wolves did not fare well.  

Joe Mason is an interesting one as Cardiff City are absolutely resolute in that he is going nowhere, which tells me that AFCB have probably been fishing to see if they can get him on a loan move. With Tubbs having departed on loan I would not be surprised if  Eddie has something up his sleeve, but I would not expect a big money signing.

If we do keep our powder dry, and don't bring any one in, it may just help our cause come January when the team will know how it stands in the Championship. Then we will have some idea of what we could be lacking in, or what we need to push on in this difficult league - we'll just have to hope it is not too late.

Five days of preparation left to go

Okay, it's Monday morning and AFCB only have a few days left before that all important first match against Charlton Athletic. Soon all the talking will be done and all the teams in the division will be trying to get off to a flying start. This week Eddie wants to get our forwards putting the ball in the back of the net, so I am expecting some big goal celebrations to be on the cards as well.

I am not sure how quickly the enthusiasm for the new season faded away last time round. I know I was scratching my head why I was going to games in October expecting us to be winning when we already looked to be in a relegation battle. Many fans simply stayed away after the couple of draws and many defeats we had back then. We could of course find it really hard going this time around as well.

I am praying for some good news this week regarding the players we do have at the club. Matt Ritchie has not been ruled out of starting, but he simply hasn't played enough in my opinion simply to turn it on in the first game of the season. Last season it was mainly the defence that was struggling to keep fit, but now it is our forwards that need to recover. The loan of Tubbs does leave a whole, especially with McQuoid out and Brett recovering from a strain.

We do need Wes Thomas to start feeling like a Championship striker, because I am sure he will be called upon as a sub. If he needs to stay out and sharpen up his shooting to get his confidence back I hope the keepers will oblige. Once he gets used to breaking the back of the net again things can turnaround quickly for him.

Strength in depth is what AFCB needs and it is about time our luck changed on the injury front. Fogey is also going to need some recovery time before he can play, which is a big shame because I feel he is the kind of energetic player who will shine in the kind of atmosphere of the first game of the season. We are really going to see if some of our players are going to be able to step up. I just hope that if Ryan Fraser is picked, he is buzzing to start and the same with Coulibaly. We will need some live wires to cut through Charlton's defence.

Howe and Tindall have some big choices to make this week and I don't envy them that.

Sunday, 28 July 2013

Hughes can still serve up a dish in the Championship

"Great Scot" as a certain Dr Emmett would say in back to the Future. We certainly have one in the shape of Richard Hughes. A restaurant owner, a Scottish hero and a darn good football player, Richard Hughes is one of our most experienced members of the squad but he is not quite ready to follow Big'un into the football retirement lounge just yet. While Richard is perhaps coming towards the end of his career, Eddie Howe still sees him as a valuable midfielder and at the end of last season he was very much in demand to help close out games when the result was far from certain.

Richard Hughes has mixed it with the best in his time.

Hughes' experience in the Championship is another reason that Eddie will be keen for him to play on as long as he can. It may be some time before Richard can get back to frying up meals in his restaurant. The Scot is well aware that Eddie does not do any special favours for former team mates but he does understand the value of his players. Hughes retains the ball so well and has a calmness to his game that several other of our midfielders could learn from. He has played with the likes of Paul Merson, Yakubu, Kanu and Kranjcar at Portsmouth. Pretty exalting company. Indeed, you could say he knows a thing or two.

Don't expect Hughes to lay back and let the others have the limelight either. He is well capable of breaking the net from distance a he showed with his rocket against Yeovil from a dead ball situation last September in Paul Groves only win I think.

I remember seeing Richard in front of Dean Court, before the Leyton Orient home game, when he was just coming back after injury. He kindly signed the programme for my boys and seemed genuinely pleased that we would ask him for his autograph when a few other players were about. But that's Hughes all over - a real gent!

Then again, he got booked in that Yeovil game when he scored! Not always such a gent then. And I expect he would like one of those midfield places in the AFCB team as badly as several of his team mates, so I don't expect him to be Mr Nice guy all the time.

Watford tickets: will they sell out?

I have not heard any of the official figures but I get the impression that the Watford away match, which is second up for the Cherries, is going to be a packed game. I was trying to get tickets on the first Thursday and basically give up after a while. Going back to the phone on Friday was more fruitful, but it indicated to me that many season ticket holders are prepared to follow the team to a few away games this season which is good to hear. When go on general sale, I hope that AFCB allocation gets eaten up.

Exactly how many seats do go to Cherry fans for away games during the season will be interesting to see. Watford have a ground with a capacity of around 17,477. It is not a massive stadium and 2000 seats for AFCB is a reasonable number to start with, considering our away support does not usually get to 2500 unless we are about to be promoted or playing a Premiership side. But to take 20 per cent of our club's support to an away match is something that I would hope we can build on, now that we are going to larger stadiums.

AFCB can look to encourage more fans to go to away games with the cheap travel and other offers but the main task seems to be the desire to get the home fan base growing first. This is sensible because we want to win our home matches above all, with things slightly in our favour in these matches. The team though did exceptionally well away from home last season and it is used to seeing our supporters somewhat overshadowed by larger crowds in the away games. What I do like about away matches is that our fans really give their all, you will hear them no matter where they are. I'm sure it really helps the Cherries, so if we can build on that over the coming season we might do even better away from home.

The factors that will hit many are the location of so many clubs up north and the cost of travel to these games. With many of our supporters have become season ticket holders for the first time it is a big ask to get them to go to several away matches as well, but when AFCB are winning it is surprising how people decide to back their desires to see the team with a few days out to more distant matches. Fans get the bug. Let's hope the bug lasts more than the first few games.

I am pretty sure then that the M25 will see a lot of Cherry traffic come 10th August. Make sure you reserve some space on there for me!

Saturday, 27 July 2013

Forward thinking is a Howe priority after Robins draw

AFCB 0 v 0 Bristol City
27 July 2013 Pre-season friendly
Attendance 1760 (342 Bristol City fans)
The rain held off for a while when most were expecting heavy thunderstorms from the start of this game. Before the second half, the only down poor was the soaking reporters were soon giving media channels about Matt Tubbs' departure, on loan, to Rotherham from AFCB. The on/off move was finally sorted today while AFCB supporters were pondering who would line up in attack for the Cherries.

The team was quickly announced with Wes Thomas leading the line, but no mention of Lewis Grabban, while Steve Cook was also not named at the back. With Pitman and Grabban out, you would wonder how AFCB will look when they take to the pitch next Saturday, especially if anyone else was to get injured today.

Here are the main AFCB Official tweet of the match
In the first minute Bobby Reid hit the side netting for the visitors with a curled free-kick from 20 yards. That could have been a fabulous start for Bristol City!       

AFCB finally get into the match and on 21 minutes Marc Pugh sees his shot deflected just wide, after good work down the left from Charlie Daniels.
Just before the half hour mark, Mohamed Coulibaly turned well on the ball before unleashing a 30-yard drive that Frank Fielding could only parry in the Robins' goal. Still the score remained 0-0.

An unlikely goalscorer for the Cherries popped up with a good chance on 38 minutes. Elliott Ward volleyed over as Frank Fielding's punch fell at the defender's feet, following a Cherries' corner. Perhaps it could have been different had the ball fallen for a forward.
Bristol City came straight back and on 44 minutes, after some neat footwork on the edge of the box, Albert Adomah saw his effort fall the wrong side of the post. Half time, and its all square at 0:0.

In the second half Derrick Williams and Marlon Pack got in a bit of a tangle getting both their heads to the ball from a corner, but Ryan Allsop made the save on 48 minutes.

Jay Emmanuel-Thomas, Sam Baldock and Scott Wagstaff  were replaced Ryan Taylor, Bobby Reid and Albert Adomah for Bristol City on 53 minutes. AFCB also made a change with Francis coming on for Danny Butterfield.

Sam Baldock then beat Ryan Allsop to the ball, on the edge of the box, after 58 minutes, but Elliott Ward's vital block kept the ball out. Four minutes later Richard Hughes came off for Ryan Fraser to come on. A bit more of an attacking set-up for the Cherries for the last quarter of the match it seemed, as Eddie Howe looked to get a victory over his former mentor.
Ian Harte was also replaced by Charlie Daniels on 63 minutes. Neil Kelly then made way for Jordan Wynter of Bristol City.
There was a great chance for Sam Baldock to put the visitors ahead on 68 minutes when he was played through early, one-on-one, but he shot wide much to the relief of the Cherries' fans. Neither team have their shooting boots on today!

Wes Thomas pulled back a good pass for Pugh on 76 minutes, who shot from the edge of the area but his effort was comfortably saved. Ryan Fraser then got on the end of a Marc Pugh cross a minute later, but goalkeeper Frank Fielding directed it out for an AFCB corner.

The last comment saw Donal McDermott replace Mohamed Coulibaly on 79 minutes.

The final score was 0:0
AFC Bournemouth starting XI: Allsop - Butterfield, Ward, Elphick, Daniels, Coulibaly, O'Kane, Hughes, MacDonald, Pugh, Thomas.

AFCB Subs: Flahavan, Francis, Fraser, Harte, Matthews, Stockley, Addison.

Bristol City starting XI: Fielding, Moloney, Flint, Williams, Cunningham, Adomah, Kilkenny, Pack, Bryan, Reid, Taylor.

Bristol City Subs: Parish, Carey, Fontaine, Wynter, Wagstaff, Brundle, Emmanuel-Thomas, Harewood, Ajala, Baldock.

Tubbs' need to play sees him move to Rotherham on loan

I was one who did not feel Matt would move unless he felt he was not going to get some game time at AFCB. The fact that he has gone to the Millers, on loan for six month, indicates that he probably did not feel he would be the first choice sub any more at the Cherries.
No one wants to sit on the bench if you could be playing.
The arrival of Coulibaly and the emergence of Jayden Stockley pushing for places as well as Wes Thomas has probably seen Tubbs decide that he would be better off at Rotherham, even though he indicated this summer that he wanted to stay in southern England. He will be reunited with his former Crawley manager Steve Evans, who is building a side to challenge the leading teams in League One in Rotherham's first season back in that division.

I still believe that Eddie Howe is trying to bring another striker to the club. I am not convinced that the performances of Wes Thomas or Jayden Stockley warrant them being ideal back up for a front two of Pitman and Grabban. If Eddie decides to play Pugh and Ritchie for most part of the season on the wings, he is left with Coulibaly, Fraser and McQuoid, when the latter regains his fitness, to play in attacking roles, although Fogden and Matthews may also come into his thinking. Before having his pre-season operation it was McQuoid that was being considered for a forward role.

The fact that Tubbs has only moved on loan is probably a sign that the Millers could not afford his transfer fee. Tubbs scored six times in his 36 appearances for AFCB during last year's promotion season. If the wage bill is a problem at the Cherries, then moving Tubbs on is surely a wise move but Eddie Howe will be wanting McQuoid back in training very quickly if he is not able to bring another striker in.

AFCB fans are still waiting to hear what will happen to Stephane Zubar who seems destined to go to Bury on loan or in a permanent deal.

All Departments Episode 6: Make Some Noise

Episode 6 of All Departments is out now. Michael is joined by Dean Court stadium announcer Michael Botto, who chats about his match day routine, rubbing shoulders with Zinedine Zidane and what he's got planned for half time this season. You can follow Mike on Twitter @bottomike.

Next up is Ross Goode, promoter of An Audience With Steve Fletcher at Bournemouth Pier on August 1st, who talks about what we can expect from the Big Man on the night.  

Michael also appeals for contributions to 182 Days, David Whitehead's latest AFCB publication celebrating the return of Eddie Howe and Jason Tindall. If you are interested, you can email David on

The show plays out with Eddie's Army, a new song celebrating the Cherries success last season by local band Sounds Like Adam.

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 follow on
Twitter @alldepartments

Cherry Chimes also puts the podcast on the right hand panel if you look below the All Departments logo or click on the logo to visit All Departments.

Robins are a good match up for Cherries

The game against Bristol City is going to be a clear marker of how Eddie Howe's preparations for the start of the season. Only on Wednesday the Robins showed that they still have the quality to beat many Championship teams with their tidy late victory over Reading, who are supposed to be one of the front runners for next season's Championship.

The sad fact for Brett Pitman is that it's one game he really would not want to miss but, if there is any sign of the strain on his hamstring still giving him grief, he is unlikely to play a part in this game. Perhaps 5-10 minutes at the end is what he could be limited to, just to get a stretch out and see how he feels. It is crucial for AFCB that Pitman is wrapped up in cotton wool, because we know he can do it at Championship level. While Thomas can do it some times, perhaps when he feels like it, Grabban, Tubbs, Coulibaly and Stockley are all untested at this level and McQuoid is unavailable for the next few games.

So the Bristol game is going to be a tester. They have strength in depth with new signing Emmanuel-Thomas and Sam Baldock up front and, if they can keep hold of him, Adomah in midfield next to ex-Charlton player Scott Wagstaff. At the back they have brought in Flint from Swindon and they have their rock in Liam Fontaine who is a long time servant at Ashton Gate. I recently read that their influential midfielder Liam Kelly is out until December time with a knee injury, while striker Stephen Davies has been sold to Blackpool. 

Bristol City also have a certain Sean O'Driscoll at the helm, and it will be interesting to see how these two passing teams set about upsetting each other at Dean Court. It should be an attacking game.

Friday, 26 July 2013

Almost time to check the half time scores

I am probably a cheap skate some would say. I do have a smart phone, but it rarely comes out of its holder unless I have nearby internet access with the chance to get on the web and have the opportunity to tweet some things. It's pay as you go for me! That means at half time I am probably peering over your shoulder at your phone for which you have paid a fortune for full internet access, as you happily check out those all important half time scores.

Am I jealous? Yes of course I am. I can still learn about those scores the old fashioned way and that's either by waiting for the stadium announcer to clear his lungs and throat before reeling off the scores at such a quick rate that I just about manage to work out if our nearest rivals are winning or not. How much information I retain is questionable at this point, because I am probably balancing a bag on my lap, with a note pad and pen in hand, as well as hunting for the drink or chocolate bar that Robert or Stephen have asked me to find for them. Not to worry. I can always circumnavigate my way down the stairs from row O to A, before shimmying past the crowds with their burgers and phones in their hands to the space under the main stand where I can squint at the main TV screens, held up high for every one to see. I say squint, I usually forget to take my glasses, which is a bit silly if you are short sighted!

If I still haven't been able to work out what is happening in the other games, I usually bring my trusted digital radio, which picks up a slightly distant BBC Radio Solent. Only, oh no! They've finished the scores and are now telling us that its everybody's birthday at the Goldsands stadium or even worse they are updating listeners on the Saints being ahead in their game!

So how can I manage to get those half time scores? I have the answer, if you won't let me peer at your phone. Mr Mitchell, please can you give us all free wireless internet access at Dean Court for the duration of the game? It's a long shot, I know, but if you put all those half time scores on our official AFCB website next to the live blog, perhaps that is where we will go to check the scores? Either that or I'll have to save up for a better phone contract.

I know, get out of the Stone Age Peter!   

Macca in prime position

It is fair to say that there is a good chance of AFCB starting its Championship season with the old duo of Harry Arter and Shaun MacDonald as a pairing in centre midfield. I am absolutely fine with this combination as I see it as a more solid partnership that has Arter pushing forward and Macca more often looking out for danger and covering any holes that appear in our lines. This allows Arter to be more of an overseer in the offensive department creating and worrying the opposition with his workman like style.

Macca can also thread an incisive pass when he sees the opportunity and the balance of the team is always good with the Macca/Arter partnership. It may not hold as much excitement to some as when O'Kane and Arter are together but in the Championship it might be wise to start with a bit of caution and gradually open up more as the confidence grows. Having said that Macca can score some absolute rockets, remember his second goal from the corner in the Johnstones Paint Trophy against Portsmouth last year?  

Eunan O'Kane has learnt very quickly though. He has already proven that he can be an excellent player for AFCB and I believe he has a lot of qualities going forward that make him an exciting prospect for the team this season. I don't think he has reached the top of his ability yet. We have not had much opportunity to see him play with Macca, but if Arter is picked up by a bigger club that could be the future of our centre midfield until Sam Matthews is ready to pick up the batten. 

Eunan O'Kane has to regain his fitness and battle back for a place in
centre midfield. Can he do it in time for the Charlton game? I make
Macca the favourite to start with Arter.
So for the moment, with Eunan only just playing a few minutes against Dorchester and Zurich in pre-season and Macca having shown he is back to usual form, I would put Macca slightly ahead of the game in terms of selection. Moreover, if we do get any more injuries in that area Purches and Hughes have been gradually putting in the minutes and could easily deputise for any of the above.

I make the engine room looking pretty good at the moment, but we will see how well they go against Bristol City on Saturday.  

Thursday, 25 July 2013

Pugh played through the pain last season

It just showed me how little we sometimes know and the opposition for that matter about the players on the pitch and how they are feeling when I heard Marc Pugh's post match interview on Cherry Chimes, after the Portsmouth game this week. I had to rewind the video just to make sure I understood what he said - and no, that wasn't because of his northern accent, ha, ha. No, he really said that he played the last 10 games last season with a fracture on his heel and even now he has been working off some fluid on his heel, so it is still niggling him a bit.

Pugh ready for action.

When I look back at his performances last season and we did wonder whether he was playing as well as we had seen him in the past at times, we now know that he was probably putting in 110 per cent and doing his very, very best when his body was probably not quite up to it. I think we all saw how brave he was when he tried to play in the first half against Preston North end away last February. He clearly was not well enough but it wasn't going to stop Marc from trying to help his team if he thought he could do a shift for them. That was a strange night when it all went a bit wrong for the Cherries and we were all a bit stunned to see them suffer a 2: 0 defeat having been on a good run -only two defeats in 22 games.

The thing is, no team is going to have players that are on form and 100 per cent all the time for every game. It is that fact which makes the run AFCB had last season such an amazing thing. When it comes to the Championship though, getting back-to-back wins is going to be an achievement alright. Still the kind of attitude our players have gives me confidence that they will do the club and the town proud.

It's getting to the stage when I am taking a few deep breathes now. The summer is slowly moving along and the serious stuff will soon come around. It's a time to be excited.   

We don't want Zubar to swap Cherries for Bury

I would like to see Stephane Zubar in an AFCB shirt this season. I make no secret of the fact that I believe he was under used at the Cherries and could have been a mainstay of our defence if the dice had rolled more favourably for him.

It would sadden me to see him exit, but players come and go and I would wish him all the best if he goes to Bury FC. What also impressed me is you have never heard a bad word from Zubar when he has been out of the team at AFCB. He always got on with the job even if he was not selected and he followed a good number of supporters on twitter to show he was united with the fans in wanting to see AFCB do well. Even in pre-season he has been playing against the minor team fixtures to get his strength back up and to improve his fitness levels.

But will Howe have the means to be able to keep Stephane Zubar? Or is he one defender too many? Elliott Ward is supposed to be better than some of the defenders we have at the club already and yet he had a bit of a clanger against Real Madrid for one of their goals. I don't remember Zubar having any bad games for AFCB - quite the contrary.

I am hoping that the addition of Mohamed Coulibaly may provide a bit of a reason to keep Stephane as a French speaker he could help Coulibaly settle in more easily at AFCB. Kevin Blackwell has made no secret of his desire to capture Stephane having had him on loan at the club, at the need of last season. He is seeking quality and Zubar fits into that category for him in league two.

The decision on Zubar may come soon when Eddie decides who is surplus to requirements during August. We just haven't seen Zubar playing under Eddie Howe and I am one who believes Eddie could get more out of Stephane to show us that he is better than a league one player.

Via Tweeter Zubar intimated that he would be "looking forward to it" referring to his expected move to Bury on 15 July, but the deal is still waiting to be confirmed.

If Zubar does leave, the good news for the Cherries would be that we would have cut some of the wage bill and I expect a few more players to also be moved on in August. It intrigues me why more have not left the club yet. Only Jonathan Meades, Charlie Sherringham and Frank Demouge have trode this path over the summer and yet most of us expected a big trimming of the squad.

While rumours have come and gone about Tubbs, Arter and Ritchie being sought out by other clubs there have been no formal offers announced and the side looks a strong one that will enter the Championship.

Eddie Howe has even said that his business might not yet be over so you never know if a sensational signing is still to come to Dean Court.

AFCB posts its message loud and clear

I was scanning the Internet to see what might have popped up on AFCB in the last few hours only to find a message 'writ' large as they say in Landsdowne. The club's official message to the people of Bournemouth is really being laid down to come out and support your local club.

The new banner poster reads "Anything is possible" and I share the club's optimism although I predict a Championship finish next season of somewhere between 10-15 for the Cherries. I don't see that as being a bad return for the first season back in the Championship and I have no misconception about the largeness of the task facing the team, Eddie Howe and Jason Tindall. Of course, I hope I am wrong and see AFCB fly to the top of the table.

Getting a message out to new supporters is what this season should be all about though. I think it is a smart move naming the South stand after Ted MacDougall as it links the past history of the club and may make some of those who used to come decide that they should really come down again and look at how the club has developed. How much the Real Madrid match will have done to get the message out there is incalculable at the moment but you would not have been able to avoid all the commotion about it if you lived within a few hundred miles of Bournemouth.

The club is doing well though at appealing to all kinds of people, young, old, families, the new people to the area and above all the waverers who are not sure if they should come or not. Those are the potential fans that I would like us to tap into as they have heard all about AFCB and Eddie Howe, Real Madrid and new stand developments, but they are not sure if they would enjoy watching a match. If we get them to the ground once, they are likely to return. Could we get back to the crowds of the 1970s? I would say if things go well in the next five seasons and we remain in the Championship or higher, AFCB could become one of the main clubs of choice to come and see a game on the south coast.

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Narrow win for AFCB over Dorchester as Chiedozie does it again

Dorchester 0 v 1 AFCB
24 July 2013
Attendance 505

AFCB went to Dorchester with a fairly young team and they certainly had their work cut out against a Magpies' side who would love to score a major upset. It was great to see that Ryan Allsop was able to play in goal and Eunan O'Kane was back in midfield, to give the Cherries some quality and drive. Donal McDermott and Jayden Stockley had another chance to do more in front of Eddie Howe and youngsters Harry Cornick and Josh Wakefield were also selected.

Just like last week there was also an old favourite who turned up in AFCB colours. It wasn't Mark Molesley this time, but Warren Cummings who recently left AFC Wimbledon and was another player between clubs trying to get some match fitness. It is good to see the club help old some of the old favourites - careers are so short these days.

According to the Echo the trialists starting for Bournemouth included Immanuel Parry from Stoke and Elloitt Legg from Hayes & Yeading.

Here are the main official tweets from AFCB on the action.

The game started with Dorchester seeming to be doing most of the pressing. After 6 minutes Walker gets the first shot of the game away but his low drive from the edge of the area proved to be an easy catch for Allsop. Again, Dorchester came forward on 15 minutes as Clough headed towards Allsop's goal but it went wide. A minute later Watson sent a low shot in towards the AFCB goal and while Allsop dived it trickled just wide.

Beasley then tried his luck from the edge of the area but his shot was caught by Allsop. Still no clear-cut chances, but it seemed that Dorchester were finding their feet quicker than AFCB from all the one-way tweets.

Clough rose well on 34 minutes to meet a teasing cross into the AFCB area but his header skimmed the crossbar and went over. Close one!

Then it was a shock to hear that AFCB had actually had a shot on goal on 37 minutes. Bassele shot from close range, but under pressure, and blasted it over. Still Dorchester 0-0. The dealock was nearly broken
, two minutes later, when Harry Cornick was put through one-on-one but his low shot went wide. That was half time - 0:0.

I bet Chiedozie was desperate to get on with no goals being scored so far.

My suspiscions of a lacklustre AFCB performance were confirmed during the break when AFCB tweeted: "The Cherries have failed to find any real rhythm here. The hosts have had the better chances, but Allsop is yet to really be tested."

The Cherries made two substitutions at half time with Chiedozie and Goodship replacing Cornick and Stockley. It only took until the 47th minute before my growing pre-season goal hero did it again. Jordan Chiedozie put the Cherries 0:1 up!

Jordan Chiedozie was back in goal scoring mood for AFCB.
The game was by no means secure though and on 57 minutes Smeeton reminded AFCB of that as he had Dorchester's best chance. He sent in a stinging shot from the edge of the area, but it was well saved by Allsop. On 59 minutes Cummings and McCarthy replaced Kamau and O'Kane. It is great to see that Warren wants to extend his career, I still miss his cheeky grin. 

It was not such good news that I didn't hear one comment about O'Kane during the match, but I am hoping he was the one doing some of the work when Cornick was through in the first half and perhaps when Chiedozie scored. At least he played for an hour - much needed time.

The excitement level was raised a bit higher when on 67 minutes Dorchester came close to levelling it through former AFCB youth player Lewy Blackmore, but the chance was cleared. We then had a sub as Jones replaced McDermott after 74 minutes. Donal could be in demand if Pugh and Ritchie are struggling to make the Charlton game, so I'm pleased he is one who has had a lot of match play in the last few weeks. 

AFCB made another substitution as Kirkwood replaced Legg on 79 minutes. Chances have been at a premium here in this second half, but it so nearly could have been a draw as in the 90th minute Wilson was put through one-on-one. However, Allsop made himself big and Wilson couldn't round the 21-year-old keeper. Not a bad return to the team Ryan.

There was no more recorded action and AFCB ran out 0:1 winners thanks to Jordan Chiedozie's goal. Jordan, you have increased your lead in the Cherry Chimes pre-season goal scorers table! He'll take some catching now.

Cherries starting XI: 
Allsop, Legg, Kamau, Parry, Cargill, Wakefield, McDermott, O'Kane, Stockley, Bassele, Cornick.

Cherries subs: Collins, Chiedozie, Goodship, Jones, Kirkwood, McCarthy, Cummings.

AFCB Trialists: Elliott Legg (Hayes & Yeading), Michael Kamau (Fulham, Brentford) and Immanuel Parry (Stoke).

Dorchester test next for Cherries

After the difficult games that the Cherries have had in recent days you might think that tonight's pre-season friendly against a local Dorchester Town team should be an easy match for AFCB. Well, shall I take you back to the FA Cup last year when Dorchester played Plymouth Argyle? Oh yes, Dorchester can play some football and had little difficult in upsetting the odds last November, when Jake Gosling's second half strike knocked the green army out of the cup. 

In recent fixtures, Dorchester has also played Poole Town who of course AFCB came up against only a few days ago. The score in the Poole Town game on 20 July ended in a 0:2 victory for the Magpies as Dorchester FC are called locally. The two goal scorers were Watson and Peprah-Annan with both goals coming in the second half. You can read more about the Dorchester team that day at the Dorset Echo. The report does say that the two trialists who did not play on that day for Dorchester, Danny Way and Andy Masson, will be selected to play against the Cherries.

With the Cherries having just played Pompey last night one would expect it to be quite a different team to take on the Magpies. Still, Marc Pugh might want to keep his fitness up having missed out a bit on pre-season games and some of the trialists are likely to get more chances to impress tonight. So we may see a team consisting of Butterfield, Losasso and Goodship. Chiedozie will also be keen to keep up his minutes on the pitch as AFCB's leading goal scorer in pre-season. The Cherries also look set to reintroduce Ryan Allsop and Eunan O'Kane having missed most of pre-season. Donal McDermott and Jayden Stockley are also expected to play, according to the Echo.

For those of you making the journey along the coast to the Avenue Stadium have a safe trip and enjoy the game.

Coulibaly is already a hot property

I am very pleased to announce that Cherry Chimes has made its first signing of the season! In a sudden development, we have swooped for the away shirt sponsorship of Mohamed Coulibaly for all of the 2013/14 Sky Bet Championship season.

Cherry Chimes is absolutely delighted to be able to sponsor a shirt of one of the AFCB players and we are very excited that Cherry Chimes has been able to support Mohamed, as he looks to further develop his professional career at AFC Bournemouth. 

The deal was secured yesterday afternoon before Coulibaly's heroics, during the Portsmouth game, when he opened his AFCB goal scoring account. We expect that this is the first of many goals that Mohamed scores for the Cherries. As a member of the Family stand, Cherry Chimes hopes that all of the Family stand will especially get behind Mohamed in his performances for AFCB.

Mohamed's first outing at Dean Court against Real Madrid was enough to show AFCB supporters and Cherry Chimes what his game is all about. He has a wonderful direct style that I am sure will pay dividends in the Championship. He is quick and lean and defenders are not going to like his power and acceleration. 

Having seen him on the wing I can see why he has favoured that position. With our injury situation developing though, it maybe that he could be asked to play up front in a strike partnership with Grabban, although last night he played with Thomas. Personally, I would quite like to see Coulibaly being used up front with Pugh and Fraser supplying the crosses on the wings, if Ritchie and Pitman are still out for a while.

How would you feel about seeing Coulibaly in a spearheading role? It is perhaps too early to tell yet and I expect Eddie Howe wants to play him where he feels most comfortable as he starts his career in the Bournemouth team. I was rather surprised, but pleasantly pleased that Mohamed had such a strong debut at home against Real Madrid. He so nearly scored in that game as well.

Cherrry Chimes choice of AFCB payer to support was in part drawn on the opinions of Jason Tindall and Eddie Howe who think there is something very special about Mohamed. Like me, they may be struggling to put their finger on exactly what it is, but if he continues to do the unpredictable well he is likely to be a huge success at AFCB. I hope readers of Cherry Chimes are pleased with our player choice.

What we can tell is that Mohamed certainly plays quickly and with great instinct and I am looking forward to see if he can push for a regular place in the first team. I wonder if Eddie Howe had thought about the amount of games Marc Pugh was having to play last season, when he decided to sign Coulibaly from Grasshopper Zurich?

Depending on what kind of team we are playing, it would be good to have some options on the left side with McQuoid and Pugh perhaps the main competitors to Coulibaly for that position.

So now that Cherry Chimes has sponsored a player's shirt, you will see our blog site mentioned in every AFCB league match day programme for the 2013/14 season, next to Mohamed Coulibaly's player profile. Hopefully, this will attract more readers to the blog and the more support we receive, the more we will be able to give back to our readers in terms of coverage.

Our aim is to work closely with AFCB and to help widen the club's supporter base, while trying to offer an informative and different way of following the club we all love. 

Thank you as well for coming to visit the blog and reading what we have had to say in our first six months.


Last night's victory is good for confidence building

Having been on the end of a big defeat against Real Madrid, albeit one of the best teams in the world, it is really a timely boost for AFCB to record a victory on home soil. Yes, it was only a friendly against Pompey and they maybe a team in transition, but it was still a derby. Pompey are a very good team and I am sure they will push for promotion next season with the talented players Guy Whittingham is bringing together.

AFCB need to keep and maintain the winning habit. We have some tough fixtures to come and we have a chance to build on that confidence with games against Dorchester and Bristol City before taking on Charlton Athletic, which will be a severe test of our Championship credentials in AFCB's first league match. I also have no reason to believe that Porstmouth will give us an easier game in the Capitol One Cup.

There were signs that things are perhaps moving in the right direction. While I was concerned that Fraser came off early, Mohamed Coulibaly looks like he set the place alight with his thunderbolt opening goal. It will do him the world of good to get off the mark and will help him feel more comfortable fitting in with his new team mates. Harry Cornick also got on the scoreboard which will be a big moment for him. It is exciting to see so many young players doing well in the friendlies. Our pre-season goal table is not looking anything like what I had expected, but it also tells a story that Eddie Howe has not perhaps been able to play some of the players that he would have liked to in some of the games.

Marc Pugh was back in action though and Miles Addison seems to be doing well on his return. We need as many experienced players as we can muster to compete in the Championship and I am hoping that more players come into Eddie's selection plans come 3rd August.

Charlie Silverwood knows all about Ronaldo's free-kicks

Sky Sports News reported last night that 11 year old, AFCB fan, Charlie Silverwood had his wrist broken in two places when Christiano Ronaldo blasted his first free-kick attempt in last Sunday's game over the bar and into the South Stand. Charlie had an operation on his wrist and when Ronaldo heard about the incident he wanted to apologise. Real Madrid sent Charlie a signed shirt with all the Real Madrid player names on it. Steve Fletcher presented Charlie with the shirt on Tuesday. 

Charlie commented that, "It was one of the most spectacular ways you can get your arm broken. I have to say I'd prefer doing it this way rather than just falling out of a tree like my dad did it. You wouldn't expect this to happen to anybody..because the funny thing was I was actually making jokes about it before hand, how I was sitting in row B, right behind the goal and that how somebody was probably going to get hit." Charlie was just pleased that he prevented the ball from taking out his front teeth.

Steve Fletcher said: "If you are going to have your arm broken, by any one in the world you would want it to be by Ronaldo or Messie, wouldn't you?... and you've got one of the two haven't least you can boast at school that you had your arm broken by Ronaldo."

I am not sure I'd be that pleased if Christiano had done that to me, but at least Charlie can treasure his signed Real Madrid shirt. We did not hear if Charlie watched the rest of the match despite of the pain he would have been in, or if he missed most of the match.

Let's hope that Charlie's wrist mends soon and maybe AFCB could send him a DVD of the game so that he could watch his moment over and over again, as well as see any parts of the match he might have missed. 

Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Pompey find out AFCB are a Championship side

AFCB 2 v 1 Pompey

Pre-season friendly
Attendance: 1806 (312 visitors)

There were not quite so many at Dean Court tonight as there had been just a few days ago. The fact that Real Madrid were not playing and that the opposition, albeit a nearby derby team, would be playing the Cherries again in a few days time in the Capitol One Cup just may have had something to do with that. For those, like me, who could not attend it seems we missed Mouhamed Coulibly's first goal in a Cherries shirt, and by all accounts it was a belter!

The pre-match official club tweets told us the starting lineup would include Marc Pugh who will have been a welcome sight having missed the Real Madrid game. Trialists Danny Butterfield and Charlie Losasso were included in Eddie Howe's squad for this evening's friendly. AFC Bournemouth kicked towards the Ted MacDougall stand in the first half.

Here are the tweets I picked up.

After 12 minutes there were no clear cut chances, but AFCB had been enjoying the better of the possession. On 17 minutes Charlie Daniels' low cross almost saw Johnny Ertl put past his own goalkeeper, but Phil Smith made the save. Charlie Daniels again got forward moments later to put in another dangerous cross, but Sonny Bradley got a foot to the ball.

On 28 minutes Ryan Fraser was replaced early on by Sam Matthews. Ryan has been playing a lot recently both at Woking and at the Goldsands stadium last weekend, but we were not told if he was taken off because he was injured or if it was a tactical switch. Mohamed Coulibaly moved out to the right side after this, leaving Wes Thomas as a lone striker.

Darryl Flahavan made his first real save of the game from a close-range effort by Tom Craddoc on 29 minutes. The contest really livened up though when, on 35 minutes, Mohamed Coulibaly scored his first goal for the Cherries from 25-yards. "A thunderbolt in the bottom corner," so AFCB's official tweet said. 1-0 to AFCB.

Pompey FC reported that the shot was scored from even further out. "Coulibaly's 30-yard effort arrows into the bottom corner. Coulibaly scores with a long-range effort low past Smith."

An all too familiar story happened on 36 minutes when Wes Thomas got his head on the end of Simon Francis' cross but failed to hit the target. I hope Wes improves as he is likely to be needed. Miles Addison then teed up Simon Francis' cross for Wes Thomas to try some acrobatics, but his bicycle kick fell narrowly wide. So at half time Bournemouth led by a single goal from Mohamed Coulibaly and apparently have looked comfortable throughout.

I think AFCB forgot to tweet in the second half for a while. Pompey did tell us that Moutaouakil's dangerous low cross was claimed by Jalal on 50 minutes.

Others on twitter were shouting about the stats on 55 minutes which were in favour of AFCB 8/1 and on shots target only included Coulibaly's goal. Then Pompey broke the silence informing us that Devera did well to hold off Thomas and allow Smith to clear on 60 minutes.

Things were all square on 63 minutes, when Pompey tweeted a "lovely finish from Barcham to curl the ball past Jalal from 25 yards." They got a bit excited with their scoreboard though saying: "GOAL! Bournemouth 0 Pompey 1 (Barcham 63). No, CORRECTION Pompey the score is now 1:1. Good to see they agreed moments later - "Sorry, got a bit excited with that tweet a few minutes ago. It is, of course, now 1-1!"

Wes Thomas was then replaced by Jayden Stockley and Charlie Losasso comes on for Marc Pugh on 63 minutes. Jed Wallace and David Connolly were introduced for Portsmouth. Johnny Ertl and Patrick Agyemang made way for them on 69 minutes. For AFCB, Josh Wakefield replaced Harry Arter at the same time.

Josh Wakefield curled an effort from 20-yards, but it fells the wrong side of the post with 16 minutes remaining. It was at about this time that I came a cross a live blog at the Football Courier - better late then never!

Jayden Stockley then had a diving header that hit the post from Charlie Losasso's cross on 76 minutes. Bournemouth restored their lead on 80 minutes when Harry Cornick grabbed the Cherries' second when his shot took a slight deflection to beat Phil Smith. 2-1!

Portsmouth then made a change and Ashley Harris replaced Tom Craddock. Pompey could not draw level though and the game ended 2:1 to AFCB.

Flahavan, Francis, Cook, Addison, Daniels, Arter, MacDonald, Fraser, Coulibaly, Pugh, Thomas.
Substitutes 1/2: Jalal, Elphick, Ward, Harte, Hughes, Matthews, Stockley

Smith, Moutaouakil, Bradley, Devera, Butler, Holmes, Padovani, Ertl, Barcham. Agyemang, Craddock Subs: Sullivan, East, Webster, Wallace, Connolly, Harris, Bird.

Second half: Jalal, Harte, Elphick, Ward, Butterfield, Pugh, Hughes, Arter, Matthews, Wakefield - Thomas.
Substitutes 2/2: Butterfield, Losasso, Wakefield, Cornick, Chiedozie, Cargill, Bassele, Goodship