Thursday, 31 July 2014

A slow start in August could prolong Fraser's season

With Ryan Fraser missing out on the friendlies against Southampton and Portsmouth because of injury you'd probably think that Ryan was cursing his luck this past week. But I believe it might well work in his favour to miss some of these friendlies, and maybe even the Swansea game if it enables him to be on the bench for the Huddersfield game. I know he will want to start every game, but it is a long season in the Championship and if he tries to come back too quickly after the knock he sustained against Dorchester he will not help anyone, especially himself if he breaks down.

So a fit Ryan Fraser with a full bill of health is what Eddie Howe should demand before he picks him for the team. I don't think Ryan would rush back as he seems a young lad with plenty of intelligence and will be starting to know exactly how hard he can push his body. It reminds me a little of Matt Ritchie last season when he was unable to shake-off his pre-season injury, but it is not as bad as that and Ryan will soon be back in the frame for selection.
Fraser may have to keep his fingers on the computer games
for a bit longer. Shaun MacDonald says he needs the practise.
With having to play Scottish U21 internationals as well, there is no need to see what Ryan can do in these next few games as he has shown last season that he is more than capable of living with the pressure of playing in the Championship. I am not sure he got quite the recognition he was perhaps due last season because Lewis Grabban and Simon Francis played so well. But to keep Marc Pugh out of almost half the games is no mean feat and he is surely destined for great things for Bournemouth and for his country. A slow start to his season may just be really helpful to him to recharge his battery and ensure that he prolongs his season.

Everyone will want to be in that first eleven to face Huddersfield but some will have to miss out. The good thing is AFCB have plenty in cover in pretty well every position this coming season and that is signalling to me that the team can be up near the top like the last campaign.

There was news this morning on one website that Adam Barton of Coventry City an U21 Ireland international could be on his way to AFCB, but I have not seen the story elsewhere. Certainly Eddie Howe hinted that one more player could be coming in before the start of the season.

Cherry Chimes' August Newsletter should be out tomorrow - sign up here.

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Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Matthews grabs last minute winner against Sholing FC

Stephen Purches saw his side struggle for dominance over a Sholing FC side that had offered to host the AFCB Development squad after AFC Totton's pitch was not playable. Adults paid just £5 to see the game and they will have seen Australian Jordan Holmes in goal for the Cherries and Aly Coulibay winning another appearance, while Stockley returned along with Ben Whitfield in a strong line up. Meanwhile, Stephane Zubar was back from his trial at Cambridge Utd so the side was not quite an U21 team after all.

There was not much commentary on twitter, but Aristide Bassele put the Cherries ahead before half time. More goals followed in the second half with Jayden Stockley registering a goal before Sholing FC got a goal back through Baldacchino's left footed strike. It was all set up for a grandstand finish and the hosts managed to get an equaliser with a few minutes to go. But the Cherries kept going and Sam Matthews provided a finish that stunned Sholing when he smashed in a powerful drive to make it 2-3 and another win for the Development squad.

AFCB official Tweets

Cherries XI to face Sholing FC:
Holmes, Muleba, Buckley, Zubar, Kaye, Coulibaly, Cornick, Whitfield, Stockley, Goodship, Bassele. #afcb

Just over 20 minutes gone and #afcb have just had their best effort of the game far with Bassele's header being well saved. Still 0-0.

#afcb take the lead on the 27th minute as Bassele takes a heavy challenge in the box & steps up to convert the penalty. @sholingfc 0-1 #afcb
Still five minutes to go until the break at the the Silverlake Arena.
#afcb still lead @sholingfc by one goal to nil.

Half time at @sholingfc and the Cherries still lead 1-0 thanks an Aristide Bassele penalty. #afcb

The second half is only three minutes old when Jayden Stockley doubles the lead with a lethal finish from 18 yards. #afcb

Matthews and Stockley both come close for #afcb, bringing to an end am impressive passing move. The visitors well in control and lead 2-0.

The hosts have pulled one back here, with a dipping left footed strike from 25 yards out from Baldacchino. @sholingfc 1-2 #afcb

As we enter the dying stages, @sholingfc have grabbed an equaliser as a loose ball is bundled into the back of the net. @sholingfc 2-2 #afcb

With the last move of the game #afcb have grabbed a winner thanks to a cracking 20 yard shot from Matthews! @sholingfc 2-3 #afcb

The referee blows his whistle to call time on a thoroughly entertaining game. Reaction and report to follow. @sholingfc 2-3 #afcb

Sholing FC to welcome AFCB Development squad

I had to quickly re-write the AFCB Development squad preview as the Echo kindly informed fans that the pitch at Testwood was causing problems and AFC Totton would not be able to host the planned game. So it is Sholing FC - the so called 'boatmen' who will take on the Cherries Development squad tonight at the Silverlake Arena. 

Up until 2010 they were the Vosper Thorneycroft FC club and last season they had a promotion from the Wessex League premier Division and won the FA Vase.

The AFCB Development squad had a big 0-4 win at Wimborne Town last time out and they are seeking to build on that result when they visit Sholing FC
. Sholing play in the same Calor Division One Southern league as AFC Totton and Wimborne Town and the Silverlake Arena is their ground which has a capacity of 1000.

Winger Marvin McLean has just signed for Sholing. Barry Mason and Lee Wort are the lead strikers. Mason is now 29 and was on AFCB's books in the past as well as Salisbury City. Byron Mason, 27, in midfield is the captain. During July Sholing have won three games and drawn one. Their last match was a 0-2 away win at Godalming Town. They have also recently beaten Gosport Borough and Guernsey FC.

The AFCB squad should be made up of U21 players for this game. For AFCB it will not be Josh O'Hanlon who sets the pitch alive though as he has joined Poole Town on a month's loan, but Aly Coulibaly is likely to play perhaps with Jayden Stockley (although he was in the squad at Portsmouth yesterday) who were among the goal scorers at Wimborne. Harrison Gilkes also netted for AFCB last time out. Stephen Purches sounded very pleased that Sholing FC were able to come in late to give the Development players another match at such short notice.

Rantie and Pitman ask the questions

Just when you feel that AFCB's team is sorted from Eddie Howe's team selections there are a couple of players who are starting to ask some timely questions as to whether they should be among those first to be considered. The manager must be pleased that Tokelo Rantie and Brett Pitman have shown that they can score goals when at the front of this AFCB team. While they may not be the first picks, it is vital that they keep their eye in on goal as well as Kermorgant and Wilson, because they could find themselves playing more games than expected this season.
Pitman is now level with Kermorgant on four pre-season goals.
The pleasing aspect of beating teams like Pompey was not that the victory came from a dominant first half but more that the players are enjoying their moment to shine. Rantie and Pitman were pleased for each other that they both scored and whether MacDonald, Arter, Gosling or O'Kane play in midfield they are all trying to keep the same shame and do the right things. Playing teams off the park is never easy and against Southampton the tables were turned on AFCB when we saw some shortcomings to the Cherries game. 

Against Portsmouth, the back four had  more to do in the second half of the game and it will have been good for Baily Cargill to have been really tested against some clever movement up front from the Pompey strikers. I am not sure if three minutes for Sam Matthews was that beneficial for him but I hope he gets some more time against Swansea.  

Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Cherries dish out first half lesson to Pompey 2-3

The Cherries set out to play Portsmouth with a fair few rested presumably for the Swansea fixture in a few days time. Eddie Howe is still likely to be concerned though at the missing figure of Lee Camp, while Darryl Flahavan is also out for the moment. Cargill was again given a chance to impress and on the bench it was pleasing to see both Matthews and Stockley.

On the Pompey side Danny Hollands got a start while Agymang would be the threat up front. Sadly as noted yesterday Wes Fogden was injured. AFCB lined up in their home kit while Pompey wore their home blue kit. Some 4061 fans turned up with 267 AFCB fans.

The first belonged to AFCB with most of the action down at Pompey's end. The big talking point though was Tokelo Rantie. I still think he is the player that splits opinion like no other at the Cherries. To score in three minutes though he instantly becomes a hero in my book and many others. Brett Pitman is also often seen as back up striker but he is coming into some good form and notched up his fourth pre-season goal before half time to make it 0-2 to the Cherries. Harry Arter then got in on the act on 36 minutes to make it 0-3 as we wondered what kind of score AFCB might end up with by the end of the night.

Pompey made nine changes though for the second half and on 74 minutes James Dunne scored the best goal of the night - a stunning volley to make it 1-3. That was not all the goal scoring though as Eunan O'Kane brought down Maloney in the box and Wallace made it 2-3 from the penalty spot. There was plenty of action and much for Eddie Howe to ponder on after a game like this.

Official AFCB Tweets.

01: The game is underway here at Fratton Park. #afcb #pompey

03: Goal to #afcb! #pompey

SNAPSHOT: Rantie volleys the lofted ball through Paul Jones in the @officialpompey goal to break the deadlock.
Rantie slots his chance away to give AFCB the lead. AFCB photo.
03: #afcb take the lead as Rantie receives Francis' ball over the top of the defence & hits it first time beyond Jones. #pompey 0-1 #afcb.

Apparently it went straight through the keeper's legs

14: Ritchie drills in a low shot from the edge of the area but it is just wide. #afcb dominating possession - they still lead #pompey 1-0.

21: Goal to #afcb! They now lead #pompey 2-0.

Pitman puts AFCB 0-2 up. AFCB photo.
21: Ritchie sends a sublime cross into the area for Pitman to head beyond Jones. #pompey 0-2 #afcb.
All to easy for the Cherries. AFCB Photo.

26: Buchel is forced into a smart saves, as he tips over Storey's effort. #afcb #pompey

36: Goal to #afcb! #pompey

Arter makes the most of Holland's mistake 0-3. AFCB photo.

36: Arter adds a third, capitalising on a mistake by ex-Cherries man Hollands to thump the ball into the back of the net. #pompey 0-3 #afcb

Half time at Fratton Park: #pompey 0-3 #afcb.

46: The second half is underway and #afcb remain unchanged. They lead #pompey 3-0.

Apparently Pompey make nine subs! Just Webster and Wallace remain from Portsmouth's starting line up.

Tonight's attendance at Fratton Park is 4,061, with 267 #afcb supporters. #pompey

70: First #afcb substitutions as O'Kane, Pugh, Daniels, Smith and McQuoid replace Stanislas, Rantie, Francis, MacDonald and Ritchie.

74: Goal to #pompey. #afcb

74: Dunne pulls one back for the hosts with a stunning long-range volley. #pompey 1-3 #afcb.

82: Penalty to #pompey. #afcb

83: Wallace makes no mistake from the spot, after Maloney was brought down by O'Kane. #pompey 2-3 #afcb.

87: With three minutes of normal time remaining, Howe replaces Arter with Matthews. #afcb

90: There will be three minutes of added time here. It's currently #pompey 2-3 #afcb.

Full time: #pompey 2-3 #afcb.

Buchel, Francis, Cook, Cargill, Harte Arter, Ritchie, MacDonald, Stanislas, Pitman, Rantie

AFCB subs
Pugh, Daniels, Smith, McQuiod, Matthews, Stockley, O'Kane

Jones, Webster, Shorey, Awford, Wynter, Whatmough, Storey, Hollands, Wallace, Barcham, Agyemang

Pompey subs
Poke, Bird, Ertyl, Devera, Butler, Dunne, Atangana, Maloney, Westcarr.

A Davies

Cherries could find that Pompey are back on the up

I don't think many clubs slip down the leagues has been quite as spectacular as Pompey's fall. While they flirted briefly with relegation for a while last season they pulled out an inner belief to mount a bit of a late surge up the table. But League Two is still where they are and while there are no guarantees I actually hope that Pompey do start to climb their way back up the leagues to bolster the number of southern teams in the higher divisions. They seem always in a rebuilding phase and the third change of manager in six months in the summer has marked another phase in the club's search for stability and better results. So are they up to giving AFCB a bit of a surprise?

Fogden is apparently injured with knee ligament damage.

I think Portsmouth have a great chance of not only giving the Cherries a hard game although recent encounters might suggest that the difference between the teams has not closed as much as it might in recent years. Perhaps last season they turned the corner though. They took in players such as our own Wes Fogden and since then have added Craig Westcarr, Paul Jones, James Dunne and former Cherry Danny Hollands. Alex Wynter is a young defender signed on loan from Crystal Palace and Miles Storey is another notable loan signing from Swindon. Whether Andy Awford can get this group of players to combine well in such a short period of time will be the challenge, but a fresh look Portsmouth should be able to leave some of the baggage they have been carrying behind them so that they can press on now.

The AFCB match is likely to be their biggest pre-season game as they have been averaging crowds of 800-2500 for the other summer fixtures. If Andy Awford can get them playing well though the home crowd will soon turn up for Pompey's matches and playing AFCB may well spark off some of the fire that we are used to seeing in Pompey sides. I was down at Portsmouth Harbour at the weekend and it is the first time in a long time that I have visited the city and yet not seen a single Pompey shirt on view. Somehow I reckon the support for Pompey will be pretty vocal tonight though when the Cherries arrive at Fratton Park.

Wes Fogden is out of action with an injury picked up during training during July.

Scunthorpe to give Addison a go

It has been a pretty tortuous time for Miles Addison at AFCB. He has been club captain and even got a string of games in the 2012-13 season, but as soon as he got injured he never regained his place in the side and Eddie Howe must be pleased that he can now move him on even if only for a month. 
Miles is back in the frame to play some games, but this time at Scunthorpe.
While it seems Miles has been around for ever, it may surprise some to hear that he is still only 25. Like just about everybody though I always felt he was too slow at the back and Eddie Howe is clearly looking for more agile and composed players on the ball. Yet Miles may find that he is a dominant player at the back for Scunthorpe in League One, where he might have a bit more time and know how to be one step ahead of some of the forwards he will be up against.

There was no real place for Miles at AFCB and a loan deal was always likely and I hope he makes the most of this chance to start a fresh. If he does come back in a months time I wonder how he would feel about Baily Cargill getting the nod in front of him? Football can be a cruel game and I don't think any player expects to be out of favour until it actually happens to them. All you can do is keep your head down and keeping working hard and to be fair Miles is a pro in that respect. A loan will give him the opportunity to enjoy playing again at a good level and should get him in the window for a longer move in January I would imagine.

Both Stephane Zubar and Miles Addison were at the club before Eddie Howe's second managerial period at AFCB and it has taken a long time for either player to play any kind of football even at Development level. It makes you realise that whoever the Cherries sign on long contracts is a risk and that while signings are always craved by supporters home grown talent may work out better and more cost effective if of course you can hold on to that talent or cash in on it at a profit.

The observant ones among you may have seen that there is a new tab on the blog called Kyle's Cups. Following Kyle Cotter's World Cup reports he has kindly offered to follow various cup competitions this season. In his first report he looks at Hull City's Europa League opponents on Thursday - FK AS Trencin 

Monday, 28 July 2014

AFCB have work to do

Eddie Howe did not disguise the fact that the Cherries still have much work to do after their defeat against Southampton. I thought the team selection was certainly not as strong as it might have been in the first half and for the first hour the Cherries really struggled to make a persistent threat on the Saint's goal. So Eddie Howe will look to see where improvements can be made.

In defence the team is getting used to having Benjamin Buchel in goal and if the injuries to Flahavan and Camp persist it may be that he has to start some league games this season. That is a big step up for the Lichtenstein keeper from playing Development squad football. This may have been playing on the manager's mind and the reason for giving Benjamin more time on the pitch at Dean Court in front of a big crowd.
AFCB still need some more organisation.
Adam Smith could have said to be slightly at fault for the Saint's goal in that he could not beat his man to the flying header, but the back four did keep the chances for the Saints down. It is in midfield where I felt the Cherries were struggling. There needed to be more power in the central positions and Gosling and O'Kane may need more time before they feel comfortable playing together there. I still believe Arter is the first choice central midfielder, because he drives the team when he is on the pitch. Whether MacDonald can get more of a go before the start of the season we will have to wait and see. The different combinations tried in training may not be the same as we see on match day and there is still time for Eddie to tinker a little with players in different roles.

The message from this weekend though is that for all the previous games high scoring, the Cherries are not the finished article yet and that should keep players keen to impress. I expect Eddie learnt a lot from the Southampton game, certainly more than he did from the Dorchester match and that is not necessarily a bad thing even if we like to see the team always win.

Sunday, 27 July 2014

Have the Cherries saved their best kit until last?

The new Cherries third kit was launched on Friday, the club’s resident replica expert Gareth Davies gives his thoughts on the new design and history of Bournemouth’s third kits...

The Third kit really has been worth waiting for. AFCB photo.
For many years, third kits were considered an afterthought, as most were commissioned due to a one off kit clash and never marketed for sale. They were often identical in design to a teams away shirt with just the main colour altered. Things changed in the early 90’s though as clubs looked to maximise revenues by selling more replica shirts and also designers became far more adventurous regarding colour schemes and designs. This threw up more clashes between clubs which in turn heralded the need for third shirts to be used far more frequently.

The Cherries didn’t have a third shirt that was marketed for sale until the 2001/02 season when TFG Sports produced a bright yellow outfit which wasn’t universally popular due to the teams lack of success whilst wearing it! It was used in the play-off winning campaign the following year too, again with limited success and when TFG departed Dean Court in favour of the disastrous Bourne Red deal, there was no third shirt made available for supporters to buy until 2006/07 when yellow returned again!

It was a massive sense of déjà-vu, as once again supporters were sceptical about the design and the team didn’t pull up any trees wearing it. It must be noted that this shirts period of use coincided with a time when storm clouds seemed to permanently reside over Dean Court so even if Bournemouth had taken to the field in a sublime offering, it would have probably gone unnoticed such was the turmoil during the Kevin Bond era.
Matt Ritchie models the new Third kit shirt. AFCB photo.
Once the Bourne Red deal was thankfully torn up post administration in 2008, JD Sports became kit supplier and under their Carbrini brand, a smart striking white third shirt was used for three seasons before Fila replaced them. Their first third kit which was ivory in colour, was a stunning effort of simplicity and gracefulness and this shirt lasted for two seasons, albeit with a different sponsor in Energy Consulting during its second campaign of use, after they replaced Focal Point.

Last season saw one of my favourite designs used for the Cherries third kit, the diagonal sash. A clever use of our principal red and black colour scheme from the designers as they were used on the sash with white the main base colour. It wasn’t used an awful lot which was a shame as I preferred this to the black away offering which was a decent effort, but not in the same League as the third.

Onto this current season and after receiving some sceptical criticism from some quarters, the club have continued with JD Sports but have returned to Carbrini. I touched on why this was a good move for the club in my piece I wrote about the away shirt and after the release of the third kit on Friday, my feelings have been totally justified as the new kit has received some of the most positive reviews ever seen after the issuing of a Cherries uniform.

I have to say this surprised me somewhat as I thought the feedback would be mixed as the design or the like has never been seen at Dean Court before. The fading from one colour to another doesn’t always work. Take the Nike template used by Barcelona last season and for Charlton this, yellow into orange just looks ghastly, like a tequila sunrise that has been made with too much orange juice, whereas blue into black makes for an excellent composition. The club crest takes on the main base colours with the makers branding and sponsor being white meaning that none of these are lost within the main design, further enhancing this kit’s credentials to be considered one of our best productions in recent times.

Coupled with the fantastic away kit, we have got two stunning efforts in one season that could and probably should be put in the masterpiece bracket. Many wouldn’t have predicted this when the return to Carbrini was announced, even more so after the release of the home kit was done so to mixed reviews because black features more prominently than red. For me it should have been the other way round but I am being picky here as the home shirt is perfectly acceptable, not the best ever, although certainly not the worst. Its main trouble undoubtedly being that it’s in such esteemed company.

We shouldn’t complain though as not many clubs can even profess to have individual bespoke designs from their suppliers - so in that respect we are way ahead of most - let alone a decent home shirt and two wonderful change offerings.

Follow Gareth on twitter: @garphied

You can now vote for your favourite kit that has been released for the 2014/15 season. See the side panel on Cherry Chimes to get your vote in. 

Saturday, 26 July 2014

Wimborne Town take on AFCB Development squad

AFCB's Development squad have been putting in the games this pre-season and the local match against Wimborne Town should enable a few more players make their claim to be considered for the first team squad. Wimborne play in the Calor Division One Southern League. Playing at Cuthbury, the Magpies have a ground capacity of 3250 with 275 seats. They finished up 13th last season and will be keen to give the Cherries a hard game.

Stephen Purches has seen his side play well against Hamworthy Recreation but were well beaten by a Poole side that kept a clean sheet against the Development team. Arguably Purches will want to see his young side get back to winning ways and with Zubar on other duties at Cambridge Utd there is the chance for another young player to come into the team in defence. I have not seen much of Josh O'Hanolon play up front but he is going to be pushing for a start along with Jayden Stockley.

Wimborne's last outing was against Verwood who they beat 1-0. Poppey fans may remember Scott Arnold who plays at right back for Wimborne and Jordan Cole at left back. Other former-Bournemouth FC players at the club include midfielders George Webb, Ollie Phillipson-Masters and John Blake. They also have Bill Maybury who was once at AFCB along with former-Cherry Aiden Sainsbury.

Prices for this afternoon's game can be found on the Wimborne Town site on this link.

Saints comfortably squeeze out Cherries 0-1

Match Report
25 July 2014
AFCB 0 v 1 Southampton FC

There were a few surprises in the Cherries team to play Southampton and I had especially expected that Lee Camp would have made it back to full fitness for this game. Still it was good to see Benjamin Buchel make his full first team debut at Dean Court. Cook and Elphick would resume their central defence partnership, while Callum Wilson had the chance to show home fans what they could look forward to up front next season as he started alongside Yann Kermorgant. O'Kane also got his opportunity which I felt he needed if he was to show that he was in consideration for the Huddersfield match. For those like me not at the match it was very pleasing that Southampton,having sold out their ticket allocation, put a live screening on their YouTube Channel so that many fans could watch proceedings for free. Tadic and Pelle were Saint's new signings that would start.

An interesting Blue shirt and shorts and yellow socks number was worn by the Saints, but AFCB were looking good as usual in their traditional red and black home strip. Former Cherry physio, John 'captain' Kirk's passing was remembered with a minutes applause and AFCB's treatment room is to be named after him.
Away fans in the South End and AFCB players on the pitch.
Picture taken by Damien Hill in the Family Stand.
Pugh was the first to make an impression winning a corner after three minutes off Clyne. Ward-Prowse and Tadic were connecting well on the left in the first few minutes for Saints. Isgrove next won a corner for the saints off of Adam Smith. A header from Yoshida flashed across the six yard box but went harmlessly past Bournemouth's goal. Elphick then took out a Saints player in the box with a push but nothing was given. Fonte and Kermorgant went down next and Yann needed treatment and was angry about the challenge throwing his shin pads down on the ground, which amused the commentators on the Saint's live streaming channel.

The Saints were having the majority of the possession. Isgrove was tackled by Smith as he was closing in on goal. Ramirez then shot over the bar. Another corner for Saints, but Buchel caught the ball with 14 minutes gone. Smith was brought down by Isgrove and AFCB had a free kick from half way to relieve some pressure. Pugh then won another corner on 18 minutes. Gosling and O'Kane were starting to come into the game a bit more now.

The first and only goal as it turned out came on 20 minutes with Clyne down the right and his cross was well met with a superb flying header from Lloyd Isgrove ahead of Smith to make it one nil to the Saints. At this point the live feed went down for me so it was back to picking up news from the AFCB live blog.

Buchel then made a good save from Pelle who was close to making it 0-2.  I finally had the live stream back as we approached half time. The Cherries look a bit light in midfield and the Saints seem to be able to come down either flank almost at will. Wilson was now playing more on the left but has not seen much of the ball. AFCB had a handball appeal turned down, but I did not see who the offender might have been. Ward-Proswe gets a shot away from 20 yards but Buchel saves well with 37 minutes gone.

AFCB are back on the attack. McQuoid and Kermorgant win a corner and O'Kane has a shot blocked before Daniel's shot is saved by the Saint's keeper. Kermorgant is next to have a go shooting wide on 40 minutes. McQuoid is getting in crosses but the Saints are clearing any danger.

Second half
Ramirez went off at half time being replaced by Cork and Matt Ritchie replaces Wilson and McQoid moved up front alongside Kermorgant. Ritchie turned his man in the whole and hit a good shot just wide early in the second half. O'Kane is starting to find his range with a cross field pas to Pugh. Meanwhile, Pelle was playing some beautiful touches and looked a good buy for the Saints.

AFCB were having trouble keeping the ball. Creatively, Matt Ritchie looked the Cherries best hope, but the team were short of ideas going forward. Cook was looking AFCB's best player at the back, very calm when under pressure.

Six subs came on after 70 minutes as the game slowed. Junior Stanislas tried to save the game when he finished a move, but it was swiftly disallowed. While Whitfield and Matthews joined in towards the end they could not change the result either. AFCB had to admit defeat against their nearby rivals as they went down 0-1.

I thought the Saints were easily the better team on the day. I am not sure why the team was not a bit stronger 11 at the start, but perhaps Eddie was giving a few a chance to see how they did as pairings. Without anyone managing to control the centre of midfield for the Cherries, the Saints pinged the ball about well and looked threatening for large periods of the game. Still, Buchel played well and perhaps Eddie Howe is now thinking that he should be the main back up to Lee Camp this season rather than Flahavan. Matt Ritchie still looks AFCB's spearhead for many of the attacks, while Gosling is not yet at his best for me. I don't think Wilson really had enough chances to really impress, but maybe the Cherries will regain some momentum against Portsmouth and Swansea.

Buchel, Smith, Cook, Elphick, Daniels, McQuoid, Gosling, O'Kane, Pugh, Kermorgant, Wilson.

AFCB subs
Francis, Stanislas, Pitman, Whitfield, Ritchie, Harte, Arter, Matthews and Cargill

Saints XI
Boruc, Clyne, Fonte, Yoshida, Targett, S. Davis, Ward-Prowse, Tadić, Ramírez, Isgrove, Pellè.

Saint subs
K. Davis (GK), Stephens, Hooiveld, McCarthy, Flannigan, Cork, Reed, McQueen, Sharp, Mayuka, Gallagher.

Friday, 25 July 2014

All eye's on Eddie's starting line up against Saints

This week we have heard a bit of bad news that Ryan Fraser sustained a heavy tackle against Dorchester that forced him to be substituted towards the end of the first half, while Shaun MacDonald and Simon Francis also picked up minor knocks. This adds to the slight worries that Elphick was rested for the Dorchester match and TK who had a groin strain. But the better news is that Lee Camp is reported to be likely to start against the Saints.
hopefully Lee Camp is back in the starting line up for the Saint's visit.
Eddie Howe has been quite variable in his team selections so far in pre-season although he usually starts the first half with a very strong line up. The Southampton match is important though for giving his main players a taste of football against a team that will keep the ball well and will punish mistakes. That may well mean that Eddie picks his strongest team that is available to start but if Francis has to be rested it might be a chance for Adam Smith to really put his name forward to get a regular place in the back four. It takes a lot though to keep Francis out of a line up and so I'm guessing that he'll still start.

I also believe it is a game where Eunan O'Kane needs to be heavily involved if he is to be among those likely to start up at Huddersfield. At the moment though I think he could be on the subs bench. There is pressure up front too where Kermorgant, Wilson and Pitman have all been hitting the goals and Ritchie is perhaps favourite to start ahead of Junior Stanislas who is hopefully fit again to take part.

Fraser's injury is likely to give Marc Pugh a good opportunity to be selected on the left, but it is good to hear Ryan will be back in training next week. I can see Eddie Howe looking to think about which players are able to add something special at this point and everyone has to be giving their best in training this week.  

AFCB line up could be:


FRANCIS                                 ELPHICK                COOK                         DANIELS    

RITCHIE                           ARTER              GOSLING                          PUGH

KERMORGANT                                WILSON

Possible subs could include:
Buchel or Flahavan, Ward, O'Kane, Cargill, Harte, Whifield, Smith, O'Kane, MacDonald, Stanislas, Rantie, Pitman, McQuoid

I also so a tweet from Tom Coull at Southampton FC today that said the game should be able to be seen on their YouTube channel if all goes well.

Thursday, 24 July 2014

New look Saints set to visit Dean Court

Southampton are the first Premier League outfit to come to the Goldsands Stadium this pre-season and they will be an inviting prospect with their new line up against the Cherries. Ronald Koeman has had a difficult start to his Southampton appointment not least because of Croatian World Cup player, Dejan Lovren's desire to leave the club following the high profile sales of Shaw, Lallana and Lambert that have swollen the club's coffers by some £57m. Lovren's asking price has reportedly been put at £20m with Liverpool still said to be interested in him. 

There are signs that the rebuilding is already under way though at St Mary's with the arrival of Graziano Pelle from Feyenoord. The spending at Southampton has only just started you would think though and having also signed Dusan Tadic from FC Twente for an estimated £10.9m more talent will surely come into St Mary's before the start of then season. They have also secured the services of Liverpool legend Sammy Lee in the coaching staff and working with Koeman means that the Saints have a lot of experience behind them. But the Saint's seem to have failed in attempts to lure former-Cherry Danny Ings to the club.

This really is a new era for the Saints now that Cortese and Pochettino have left the club, but there is no time for Koeman to sit back because the Premier League is unforgiving and he'll be measured by his success on the pitch not just in his signings. The game against AFCB will give fans of both clubs a feel for how well pre-season has benefited the clubs and let's face it neither team will want to lose this game even if it is only a friendly.

The Saints are in good form having beaten Belgian side Sporting Hasselt 6-0 on 17 July and they also beat Dutch side EHC Hoensbroek  4-0 on 15 July. Their most recent outing was a 0-1 away win against Swindon Town on Monday when Hooiveild got the winner. Six recognised first team players began that match - Nathaniel Clyne, Jose Fonte, Graziano Pelle, James Ward-Prowse, Jack Cork and Jos Hooiveld, on the bench was Maya Yoshida and Billy Sharp. Whether Koeman changes the team much for the visit to Bournemouth remains to be seen but I would expect a strong Saint's team.

Well done to the AFCB 11 who beat Brighton's U21's 1-2 yesterday, that comes after a -14 win against QPR's U18 team last Saturday and welcome to the club Aly Coulibaly. 

Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Pitman knows how to finish

Many fans will have thought that Brett Pitman is not the answer for the Cherries in front of goal in the Championship. That view may even grow stronger as leading newspapers like the Daily Mail are following rumours that Monaco striker Gaetano Monachello could be on his way to the Goldsands stadium. But the home bred striker is proving again that you can't write him off. If there is a chance in the box and Brett is the nearest player to the ball, he finishes more often than not and it is a quality that could serve AFCB well in the 2014/15 season. It is likely that Brett will be well used as a sub but if he comes on and makes an impact in games he will more than have played his part.
Brett looking to make a bigger impact in 2014/15.
There is no one who should feel that their place is safe in the first team and if there are some injuries it is important that the squad players can take on the main roles without wondering if they are good enough. I expect Eddie Howe is constantly saying to Brett and others that they are good enough and that they will be required. Once a striker is on a good run it is hard to ignore them and that is what Brett needs to do now. His goals in pre-season should quicken his stride in training and with so many players doing so well Eddie Howe just may have to think twice on more than one or two players in August before the first game.

I have a good feeling that the players are getting on well and not worrying too much if they are in that first 11 or not, because while so many are scoring and passing the ball well they are in contention. Eddie Howe needs as many players as possible putting themselves in contention and you simply can't have too many players who are natural finishers. Brett is doing more than okay even if the club is being linked with new strike options.

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Is the Championship heading for Premier League 2 status?

The summer transfer window still has some way to go but it is already apparent that there is suddenly a trend for Championship teams to bring in players from foreign clubs. That does not mean that they are all spending big though. Derby were quick to pick up Athletico Madrid star Ivan Calero on a free. Nottingham Forest have paid £1m for Michael Mancienne of Hamburg and have signed Roger Riera from Barcelona on a free. Charlton have gone for Standard Liege's George Tucudean and Tal Ben Haim on free transfers. Meanwhile, Leeds have signed Tommasso Bianchi of Sassuolu and Souletmane Doukara of Catania. Fulham have brought in Kay Voser of FC Basel and Tim Hoogland of Schalke. We might have expected Watford to look towards Italy, but this time they looked at Parma and Daniel Tozer. Middlesbrough have even bought Tomas Meijas of Real Madrid. The BBC has a good list of July's transfers.

So what is going on? Are the prices for players in Europe suddenly much more affordable for Championship sides? Are the foreign players much better than those in the lower English leagues? I believe that there are many reasons and some of them may not be for the better for English football. The amount of foreign club owners and managers may well be a stimulant in the pull to look abroad while the cost of players in League One has been demonstrated by AFCB's signing of Callum Wilson from Coventry. Among other clubs to pick up League One players we can see that Rotherham signed Febien Brandy of Sheffield Utd in June and Ryan Hall of MK Dons, plus Mat Sadler from Crawley, while Brentford signed Moses Odubago of Leyton Orient Andy Gray of League Two Luton and Byron Webster came to Millwall from Yeovil on a free and Lee Gregory from FC Halifax. Stephen Gleeson of MK Dons also signed for Birmingham along with Johnathan Grounds who was at Oldham - both were frees.

There are fewer big money moves though from the lower leagues to the Championship and League One and Two will be all the more poorer for it in the end. If Championship clubs continue to go abroad for new players that will cut the amount of money going down through our leagues and while transfers between League One and Two remain high they are not of the value of the Championship signings.

We do see Championship sides willing to loan out players to the lower leagues and this may well be the main way that the transfer market works in future years. For teams like AFCB, the signings from Premier League teams have been possible because they have been on free transfers and this goes for a lot of the signings we have seen coming from the Premier League to Championship clubs. The most telling signing from a Championship club to another Championship side has to be Fulham's capture of Leed's Ross McCormack for an estimated £11m. 

Whether you think that foreign signings are bargains or gambles it appears that the Championship will be full of them. I can see this league becoming Premier League 2 which will be yet more bad news for the FA and the hopes of English fans that want to see their national side do well. If there is some good to come of the foreign player attraction it is that the quality of the league is likely to rise and with that the FA has a much more marketable product than it had only a few years ago as seen by SKYBet's sponsorship of the Championship.

Just as a final word, I had some communication with Liz Finney, the general manger at AFCB, and she informed me that the reason for so many mid-week kick offs this season in the Championship was mainly down to two things. Firstly, the clubs had all voted to start the season one week later and also there will be three international breaks in the 2014/15 Championship season.

You can also vote in our poll for where you think AFCB will finish next season - scroll down the right side panel to vote and see the results so far..

Monday, 21 July 2014

Cherries will try and keep new ruthless streak in front of goal

I have my fingers crossed that AFCB can keep their ruthless finishing going as we enter the first games of the new season. No matter what team is put in front of the Cherries they still have to score the goals to win the game and too often we have seen them toil away only to find that they get rather pedestrian in the last third of the pitch. That is not how the Cherries are setting up for their next campaign. The level of opposition now goes up a few levels as they get ready to take on some Premier League teams, but playing as well against better defences is what AFCB will now be aiming to do now.
Arter was on target from long range against Dorchester Town.

Just as pleasing for me with the pre-season games so far though is the small amount of goals conceded. FC Copenhagen put two past Benjamin Buchel in quick succession but the goals against have dried up since then. What is more, we have seen the introduction of Baily Cargill to that defence and against Dorchester Francis and Smith both played in a back four without Cook or Elphick.

Eddie Will be pleased that Callum Wilson has scored and that Yann Kermorgant is sticking his chances away along with Matt Ritchie. The player that I think he will hope finds his grove in the team though is Dan Gosling. If Dan can start to master the play and dictate the tempo I believe AFCB will be a much more dangerous team than they were last season. Just the presence of Dan in the team though is pushing Harry Arter on and it may be that Eunan O'Kane has to push on now to ensure he keeps his place in the starting 11.

Will AFCB try and make more of Yann's heading ability?

Yann is the man for AFCB.
Last season we saw how good Yann Kermorgant was in the air. He basically dismantled Doncaster at home in the 5-0 win with his powerful finishing. When I look at Kermorgant though I don't see a player who instantly would be expected to score lots from headers but his determination to out jump opponents seems to take defenders by surprise and I think some of that comes down to his positional play and the timing of his runs.

There has been a distinct lack of headed goals in recent seasons at Dean Court and now that the team has a known strong header of the ball we might see the tactic used a bit more. I still expect Bournemouth to play with the flowing passing game but if anything more crosses may be supplied to the Frenchman if he is seen as the main strike force in the team.

Certainly Kermorgant has the ability to score 10 or more headed goals a season with the right delivery and over the summer the players will have a lot of time to work on how best to find him in the box when he shows how he likes to pull off the defenders to find space and make goal scoring opportunities. The pleasing aspect of Kermorgant's play though is that he is more than a striker who simply scores with his head. He has shown that he is an instinctive striker and also an unselfish one on many occasions. It maybe that we see an even more hungry Yann Kermorgant come August when he looks to show that he is the main man up front now.  Already in the Dorchester match he has demonstrated how eager he is to get on the goal scorers list and I expect a few more hat-tricks from Yann in the games to come.  

Yann - so calm in front of goal.
Eddie Howe has said that Ryan Fraser came off with a slight injury in the Dorchester game while Tommy Elphick and Tokelo Rantie were rested, the later because of a groin strain. 

Just to remind us all that Yann can also hit a free kick, thanks to Steve Wright's clip you can watch Yann's free kick against Dorchester Town. You even get Steve's knee as a bonus!

Sunday, 20 July 2014

Cherries already among the goals

It was good to see so many of you decide to vote on the Chimes poll for the top scorer pre-season. To receive more than 50 votes was excellent for our first poll of the new season. It was no surprise to see that most of you expect Yann Kermorgant to get a hat full of goals this July, and while Callum Wilson also drew a lot of support it is not always those who you might expect to bag the most goals pre-season. I limited it this year to just the first team and last pre-season Jordan Chiedozie ran away with the top scorer and nobody picked him out as the top scorer. Still I get the feeling we could be in for a shock again.

While we have only had three first team friendlies 17 goals is a pretty amazing start and there are some unlikely candidates among the goals. It won't be Rakish Bingham  that catches you out though as his trail period seems over as he is reported to be trying out for Cheltenham Town now. It was interesting to hear that Eddie Howe did not dismiss the possibility of other players still joining the side before the start of the season and we'll have to wait to see if AFCB are still after more strike options or strengthening in other areas.
Where's Rantie?
Brett Pitman has also been doing his utmost to get noticed by scoring setting up a goal and hitting the bar and all in one match against Eastleigh, while bagging a couple in the anhilation of Dorchester. The fan who selected Brett to top the scoring chart could well be on to a good thing. I backed TK to come good and have my fingers crossed that he will if he gets some game time although he was not even among those used at Dorchester.So it is Yann Kermorgant leads the way on four and he had not even scored in pre-season before the Magpies game. It is good to see the goals getting shared out though with Matt Ritchie , Harry Arter, Marc Pugh and Shaun MacDonald all providing goals from midfield.

Of course it does not really matter who scores at this stage as long as the team is playing well, creating chances and putting away the chances they should. The spread of goals through the team is pleasing and it will help Callum Wilson that he has got off the mark. Congratulations also to Ben Whitfield who played against Dorchester and even got on the score sheet - that is fabulous to hear. It looks like AFCB's youngsters are starting to make the grade.

Excitement is sure to rise among fans in the next week when the first team finally line up for a home match in front of some eager fans who will be wondering how they will get on against a new look Southampton.

We have uploaded two more match day photo albums to the Cherry Chimes' Facbook page. You can now look back at the home draw match against Middlesbrough and the night time 4-1 win against Leeds Utd. Just visit Cherry Chimes' Facebook page and give us a like or download the phone app on the side bar to gain access to the Facebook site. 

Saturday, 19 July 2014

Cherries put 11 past Dorchester in friendly

AFCB turned out at Dorchester with a strong first team in the first half and sadly for Dorchester they were in the mood to rack up the goals. With Francis captaining the side Cargill also started in defence and new signing Gosling also took to the field. It was Harry Arter though that was not messing about when his drive just 76 seconds in found it's way to the back of Dorchester's net to give the Cherries an early lead. He came close too a few minutes later when he hit the post, but was Yann Kermorgant who doubled the lead on 13 minutes.

The Cherries had their shooting boots on today and within another minute Matt Ritchie had nipped in to make it 0-3. That wasn't the end of the first half scoring though as Dan Gosling came within a whisker of his first goal, but Ritchie added his second on the rebound. It didn't end there either as Kermrogant go his second from the penalty spot to make it 0-5 and it was 0-6 on the half hour, Kermorgant again.

Even with Fraser and MaCDonald coming off AFCB still had the likes of Pitman and Sam Matthews to replace them. Sure enough Pitman did not make much time in adding to the score to make it 0-7. There was a bit of calm then in the scoring before Pitman made it 0-8 on 43 minutes. It was explosive stuff from the Cherries and Dorchester had no answer to it.

At this point I started to look up AFCB's biggest ever win.11-0 against Margate in an FA Cup tie in 1971 I though, but I was corrected by Keith Morey that AFCB beat MK Dons 13-0 in a friendly under Paul Groves.

Jack McCarthy replaced Adam Smith for the second half and we were off again. Kermorgant adding to his overall total with a free-kick to make it 0-9. A whole host of changes were then made on the hour by Eddie Howe to bring some fresh legs on including Junior Stanislas and Callum Wilson. Callum Wilson announced his arrival with his first goal for the Cherries on 65 minutes. The score ended at 11 in the end when Ben Whitfield finished the Cherries scoring.

Simon Francis captained the side against Dorchester Town.
Here are the official tweets from AFCB on the match:

#afcb XI to play @DorchTownFC: Buchel, Smith, Francis, Cargill, Harte, Ritchie, Gosling, MacDonald, Arter, Fraser, Kermorgant.

Simon Francis will captain #afcb in the first half.

01: @DorchTownFC get the game under way at The Avenue. #afcb

02: GOAL! @HarryArter2 opens the scoring after 76 seconds with a fierce drive. #afcb

08: @HarryArter2 hits the post! The midfielder strikes the woodwork after being picked out by @RyanFraser94. 0-1. #afcb

09: Matt Ritchie puts the ball in the net, but he's flagged offside. 0-1. #afcb

13: Yann Kermorgant makes it 2-0. Classy finish from the lone striker from 20 yards out. #afcb

14: GOAL! Matt Ritchie converts from @ianharte23's cross to add a third for #afcb. 0-3.

20: GOAL! Dan Gosling has a shot cleared off the line, but Matt Ritchie puts away the rebound. 0-4. #afcb

28: GOAL! Yann Kermorgant scores his second & #afcb's fifth from the penalty spot. 0-5.

28: @RyanFraser94 & @ShaunMac20 are replaced by Brett Pitman & Sam Matthews. 0-5. #afcb

30: It's a hat-trick for Yann Kermorgant inside half an hour! 0-6. #afcb

35: GOAL! Brett Pitman is on hand to tap in @AdamSmith912's low cross. 0-7. #afcb

43: GOAL! Brett Pitman keeps his cool to slot home from just inside the box. 0-8. #afcb

Half-time: @DorchTownFC 0-8 Cherries. #afcb in complete control during the first half at The Avenue.

Just one change at half-time for #afcb, with @JakeMcC_17 replacing @AdamSmith912.

48: GOAL! Yann Kermorgant curls in a free-kick at the start of the second half. 0-9. #afcb

57: @ianharte23 hits the post with a free-kick! 0-9. #afcb

A number of changes about to be made by Eddie Howe, including the introduction of Callum Wilson & Junior Stanislas. #afcb

#afcb XI to play final 30 mins: Buchel, Francis, McCarthy, Cook, Daniels, Stanislas, O'Kane, McQuoid, Pugh, Wilson, Pitman.

65: GOAL! Callum Wilson helps #afcb into double figures with his first goal in red & black. 0-10.

68: Simon Francis is replaced by @b_cargill, who started the first half. @JakeMcC_17 will play at full-back. #afcb

71: @ben_whitfield96 & Patrick O'Flaherty come on for @b_cargill & @BeniBuechel. #afcb
75: Former #afcb youth team goalkeeper Shane Murphy has made good saves to deny Brett Pitman, Josh McQuoid & @ben_whitfield96.

88: GOAL! Development squad midfielder @ben_whitfield96 scores from close range in the closing stages. 0-11. #afcb

Full-time: @DorchTownFC 0-11 Cherries. #afcb