Wednesday, 27 March 2019

We can be proud of the Minus 17 history

Bournemouth's dramatic escape from dropping into non-league football in 2008-9 appears just as miraculous today as it did at the time. Transfer embargoes, points deductions, manager sackings and financial meltdowns and over spending had finally landed Bournemouth hovering above the relegation trap door. AFCB should have gone down, but the club not only survived - it thrived.
Past triumphs shouldn't become distant memories.
The video that is coming out entitled Minus 17 will no doubt recapture the sense of how desperate the times were when Eddie Howe first came into management. Bournemouth were about as far from a Premier League club as you could imagine, and to go down to non-league would not have surprised anyone. But the club pulled together under the appointment of Eddie Howe and wit the return of Steve Fletcher the team galvanised itself into a team with tremendous fighting spirit. The odds were well against survival, but that didn't seem to matter. Bournemouth felt hard done by, everyone was against them and by surviving they could welcome in a new era of football.

When Steve Fletcher did strike the winning goal against Grimsby Town in the crunch game at the end of the season it was more a feeling of relief than anything else for most fans. Out of adversity comes hope sometimes and Eddie Howe had given the players hope that they could achieve something special. If it wasn't at the top of the league then maybe these players could do something special at the bottom of it. Of course they did and went on to win promotion the following season to League One.

Those days seem quite distant now, but the energy they created I feel is still with us in the Premier League. The big teams are still there and AFCB are hitting above their weight as usual. We may have lost some of the small club mentality, but we'll never forget how proud we were of the 2008-09 team for saving football at Dean Court. They deserve recognition and perhaps more than just in a video, because everyone associated with the club was a hero and it was the start of what made the club what it is today.

In other news, Ryan Fraser has cleared up why he didn't go to Kazakhstan with Scotland's squad. The artificial pitch was worry for him having injured his knee previously on a similar surface.

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