Sunday, 7 July 2013

Purchy has a big week ahead of him

There should be a lot of stories about Stephen Purches this coming week, so I thought I should get my tribute in early to prepare the way for others with more knowledge to speak about him in much greater detail. It was certainly a real heart warmer to hear he was fit enough to play some part in the Wimborne Town fixture at the weekend.

His unfortunate broken leg in the Rochdale game, back in February 2012, came at a time when I felt he
 was playing some great football as a flying full back. Things have moved on quite a bit from then in that the club has risen through the divisions and Simon Francis in our right back position has been one of the first names on the team sheet ages. But Purches can play in several positions and his calm thinking could still be a very big asset to the team.

How much Stephen plays from now on is hard to tell. He may consider whatever time he gets as simply a bonus. Many of AFCB's 2003 promotion-winning squad have since hung up their boots or have left the club, but Purchy is still going strong and now his coaching role of the Development squad is likely to take up more of his time. But the fact that he has recovered to the stage where he will soon be knocking on the door of first team football again is a credit to himself and his professional attitude.

While he looks to pass on what he has learnt to the future's up and coming stars he has a testimonial to look forward to against his first club, West Ham. Any other year you would say it will be the game of the season for players and fans, but the announcement of the Real Madrid game should not cloud the spectacle that is likely to be keenly supported by new fans, who want to see what Dean Court and Purches is all about, as well as the loyal fans who know just how much Stephen has put into the game and the Cherries over the years.

I expect Steve Fletcher is still a bit envious of Purchy as it is still very probable that Stephen will play several games in the Championship, if he keeps fit and pushes for a place in the first team squad. It will be a great sight to see him back at Dean Court on the field for the Hammers game and I feel the club is very lucky to have Stephen in place to pass on his experience to the youths that will eventually look to have a career as long as his.

As for 13 July 2013, enjoy the day Stephen! It will be a great day to celebrate what has been a terrific career so far.

Looking at the online ticketing order system there are still seats available for the West Ham game, unlike the Charlton match, which is a sell out.

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