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THE CHERRIES SEASON REVIEW 2011/2012 FREE

Saturday May 5 2012


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Saturday May 5 2012

FLETCH: THE GOOD TIMES ARE COMING

SATURDAY MAY 5 2012 We may not be celebrating promotion or worrying about relagation, but there has been no shortage of drama at the Seward Stadium this season. In this eight-page supplement, we take a look at all the highs and lows. Up the Cherries! Max Fitzgerald Media & Communications

Tha nk you to all the fans that vote d me player of the seas on, real ly hon oure d and chu ffed to bits ! Mea ns so muc h to me and my fam ily!

@Ma rc P u g h7

A big tha nk’s bou rne mo uth fan s

@Zu ba r Step h a n e

To a ll @ afc fa ns tha bo u rnemo u th n kin d wo k yo u fo r yo u r rds a n d me Lo o kin g fo r w a rd s s a g e s . to S at u r day :)

@Steve Fletc h e r3 3

www.afcb.co.uk @afcbournemouth

0844 576 1910

FAN’S favourite Steve Fletcher reckons the Cherries faithful will have something to shout about at the end of next season. The Cherries are set for an uncharacteristically low key finish to the campaign but Fletcher is convinced that they will be part of the promotion race in 12 months’ time. He said, “A lot of people have come up to me and said that it’s the first time in years that something hasn’t been happening at the end of the season. We’ve been fighting off relegation or trying to get into the play-offs, and we had the promotion in 2010. It’s been a quiet end to the season but I believe with the players we’ve got that the good times are not too far around the corner. “You need to be lucky with injuries to your top players but I think we’ve got strength in depth, and I think if we get off to a good start then we will be fighting at the top end of the table. The expectations are high because of what we have achieved over the last few years, but we expect the same as players.” Fletcher has experienced promotion twice in his twenty years with the club, and sees enough in the current squad to believe another could be on the cards in 2013. “We’ve got some fabulous players and if we can keep the majority of them, which I think we will, with one or two additions then we should be up there. We’ve had almost a season together now and I think next season will be the big test for us,” he said. The club appearance record holder has had an eventful term. Starting the season as Lee Bradbury’s assistant he reverted to a player before joining League Two strugglers Plymouth in March. “I spoke to Lee Bradbury and the chairman and we decided it was the best thing for me at the time,”

GAME CHANGER: Fletch bags a last minute leveller at the Banks’s Stadium he explained. “There were a lot of minutes in the last couple of games. similarities between the situation “Maybe people think I can’t play they were in and where we were a 90 minutes or that I can’t do it FLETCH’S SEASON couple of years ago, and I got to ex- week in, week out. But to do it toAugust 6: Starts the season as perience something that I wouldn’t wards the end of the season, I’m assistant manager with defeat at get the chance to again. It’s another quite happy with that.” Charlton Athletic. fantastic memory to take with me.” Fletcher’s last gasp header at WalNovember 9: Steps down as After being restricted to a handful sall in January has become one Lee Bradbury’s right-hand man. of substitute appearances this sea- of the most memorable moments January 7: Comes off the son, Fletcher started the last two of the season, and the 39-yearbench to rescue a point with a games of his loan spell at Home old picked out the equaliser at the dramatic header at Walsall. Park, including the draw with Ox- Banks’s Stadium as the highlight February 18: Last Cherries apford which clinched the Pilgrim’s of his campaign. pearance to date in a 1-0 defeat Football League status. He said, “I was ill over Christmas at Rochdale. He said, “I think Carl wanted to and couldn’t get myself back into March 22: Joins Plymouth on start me from the beginning but the team, I came on and managed loan untill the end of the season. I told him that I hadn’t started a to get the equaliser. It kept the unApril 21: Secures Football game for months. He kept putting beaten run going and in the celeLeague status for the Pilgrims. me on with half an hour to go and brations you could see how much April 30: Recalled to the SeI was helping out the team, and I it meant to the boys. I keep playing ward Stadium for Preston clash. played 87 minutes and the full 90 for moments like that.”

UPS & DOWNS

Molesley recognised for outstanding charity work KIND-HEARTED midfielder Mark Molesley has been named as the Cherries’ community player of the season. Molesley has been involved in a number of charity projects over the last nine months, as well as being a strong supporter of the Ebony Robinson Foundation. The foundation, set-up by former Cherries director Adam Murry, raised over £30,000 last month to give four families battling lifelimiting conditions dream holidays

this summer. “Being a parent myself I see it from their eyes. I see the hard work they put in every day because they don’t get a minute’s rest because it’s a 24/7 job looking after a terminally ill child,” Molesley explained. “Adam and myself were overwhelmed by the children and how special they are, and what a great job their parents are doing during challenging times.” The 31-year-old - who has been on loan at Aldershot - is currently

back in action after suffering a number of injuries, but insists he has no plans to put his charity activities on the back burner. “I am fortunate enough to have met some people who are an inspiration to me and made me think that I have nothing to moan about. “It has been good medicine for me because my situation pales in to insignificance compared to what some people have to face. “It has helped me through the last three years and if I can help in any

way then I will give it my all.” Head of AFC Bournemouth Community Sports Trust Steve Cuss added, “When it came to choosing our community player of the season it was an easy decision really. The work Mark has done has been outstanding. “Footballers often get a bad press but he is a real credit to the game. He’s very down to earth and has a great way with people, and he uses that drive that got him to where he is today in his charity work.”


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FLAVS & JALAL IN SUMMER CONTEST

Marc Pugh chats with ALEX SMITH

after being awarded supporters’ accolade

WINGER Marc Pugh was quick to thank the Cherries supporters after becoming the first player to win the club’s new Supporters’ Player of the Season award. Pugh has been one of the Cherries’ outstanding performers this season, as well as being the club’s top goal scorer in all competitions. The 25-year-old quickly became a fan’s favourite at the Seward Stadium after joining the club in the summer of 2010 with his trademark check backs and exciting wing play. This season he has been the model of consistency and scored vital goals in the wins over Wycombe and Huddersfield. Pugh was the clear winner of the inaugural award and picked up almost half of the votes, while Simon Francis and Scott Malone finished second and third respectively. “It’s a great achievement and I’m chuffed to bits. I just want to thank the fans for the award, it means a lot to me that they appreciate my work on the field,” he told Cherries Season Review. “I’m trying to perform at seven or eight out of ten every week and hopefully higher. You have to be consistent to be a good player in this league because there are no easy games. You are going to come up against opponents that are

‘I am chuffed to bits’ quicker and stronger than you, and you have to find a way round them. I think I’ve done that this season and I have been pleased with my performances. “I will be really up for the game on Saturday and we have to finish the season on a high, and hopefully I can perform well.” In his two year stay on the south coast Pugh has made almost 100 appearances in red and black, and the club has a special place in the midfielder’s heart. “I absolutely love the place,” he said. “The fans have been great ever since I joined the club and I really enjoy working with all the lads and the staff every day, and it’s a pleasure to play for the club.” While the Cherries are set for a mid-table finish there were still

plenty of highlights for the former Shrewsbury midfielder. “It was good to get into double figures with my goals and assists. I really enjoyed beating some of the top teams in Huddersfield and Sheffield Wednesday and I thought we totally outplayed them,” he added. “I didn’t score too many what you would call great goals but the one against my old club Hereford stands out for me, and the one against Bury too.” Meanwhile, Shaun MacDonald beat off competition from Pugh and goalkeeper Darryl Flahavan to pick up the Junior Cherries award. The Welsh international had a frustrating start to his Cherries career but was pleased to claim the prize at the end of his first season at the

Seward Stadium. “I’m really happy and I think it’s a great achievement,” he said. “The Junior Cherries members are the future of the club and I must be doing something right for them to be looking up to me and voting for me in this award. It’s an honour to get such a good award. “Unfortunately, I can’t thank them all individually but I would like to say thank you to everyone that voted for me. “I missed a big part of the season with an injury, which was frustrating, but I’m over that now. I’m back in the team and I’ve given 100 per cent in every game, just like all the other lads do. I think I’ve finished the season strongly, I’m enjoying my football and hopefully we can improve next season.”

GOALKEEPER coach Neil Moss says he expects a fierce battle for the number one shirt between Darryl Flahavan and Shwan Jalal in pre-season. Flahavan and Jalal vied for a starting spot last summer and will again go head to head in pre-season, with Moss predicting another close competition for the pair. “I’m looking forward to having two fully fit, very experienced, very capable, hard working goalkeepers pushing each other in preseason,” Moss said. “I’m sure both Shwan and Darryl will come back fighting fit and ready to go on the first day. It’s going to be the same situation as before, it will be a clean slate and whoever performs the best will get the nod.” He added, “Darryl came in in the summer and we thought we would let the two of them fight it out over pre-season for who would start on the first day, and it was a ridiculously close call. I know how consistent both of them are and I thought that it would take an injury for that person to lose their place. “That’s been the case for Darryl, and I don’t think there will be anyone across the four divisions who has made less mistakes than him this season.” Meanwhile, Jalal made his first league start in almost 12 months in the final away game of the season at Scunthorpe, and Moss believes it was an important step for the former Peterborough goalkeeper. He said, “It’s been a disappointing season for Shwan, there’s no question about that. But he has trained well in the last six weeks since his operation and has been bright, like the Jal we knew a year ago. Putting in a good performance will hopefully give him a positive edge going into the summer.”


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Saturday May 5 2012

CHANGING

MICK Cunningham

ALMOST a great escape, a true great escape, promotion and then the play-offs – four seasons of pure and raw drama at AFC Bournemouth. The 2011-12 campaign may on the surface be one of disappointment after these heightened expectations, but this has been very much a transitional season, and one where building blocks for the future have been laid. With such a large turnover in personnel throughout the season, consistency was always going to be the most difficult asset to attain, and the fact that the club recovered from a difficult start and at one spell, threatened to challenge for a play-off place is

a credit. This squad has not yet had the opportunity to spend a pre-season together, but if the build-up to the 2012-13 season is used wisely, we could be in for an explosive start to the season. Cherries Season Review takes a look at the last nine months. JULY With a number of players leaving the club, the rebuilding process started early with Darryl Flahavan, Steven Gregory and Adam Barrett the first arrivals. Pre-season got underway with an entertaining EC Group Cup, with German side FC Saarbrucken winning the tournament at the Seward Stadium. AUGUST The season kicked-off at Charl-

ton, with the hosts winning comfortably 3-0. The Cherries were a very different looking side to the one that competed in the playoffs, and it was to be the last appearance for Danny Ings. A busy opening month saw Sheffield Wednesday beaten 2-0 for the only league win, but there was success against Dagenham and Hereford in the cups, with new signing Shaun MacDonald finding the net on his debut against the Bulls in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy. Liam Feeney was sold to Millwall on transfer deadline day. SEPTEMBER With the Cherries in 23rd place, Wes Thomas was signed from Crawley and he made an immediate impact, scoring in his first two away games as the Cherries found

their form on the road. At home though results in the league were hard to come by and the two away wins were sandwiched by two reverses at home. OCTOBER The Cherries continued to strengthen with the arrival of defenders Stephane Zubar and Steve Cook, while Wes Fogden arrived from Havant & Waterlooville and Charlie Sheringham from Dartford. The side remained unbeaten in the three away matches at MK Dons, Colchester and Preston, while frustratingly only one point was picked up from the two home matches. The highlight of the month was undoubtedly a brilliant 3-1 win at Preston where Scott Malone scored his first goal for the club.

NOVEMBER A home win at last! Malone and Thomas were on target as Scunthorpe were beaten 2-0. This gave the Cherries plenty of confidence as they prepared to face Brentford in the JPT, and new signing Simon Francis was given a place on the bench. With the two clubs the only League One sides left in the Southern Section, many felt this was an ideal opportunity to get to Wembley, but it was a night to forget as the Cherries were soundly beaten 6-0. Bournemouth also went out of the FA Cup after two exciting games against Gillingham while in the league, a win at Wycombe and a draw at home against Oldham saw the side continue a climb up the table.


Saturday May 5 2012

G SEASONS DECEMBER With Charlie Daniels now in the side, the Cherries made the trip to Huddersfield who had not been beaten at home in a year. A truly outstanding display saw Bournemouth take home the points with a fully deserved 1-0 win. Two own goals saw Sheffield United take the points home over the Christmas period and a goal late in to stoppage time denied the Cherries what would have been a deserved win at Brentford on Boxing Day. The year finished with an emphatic 3-1 win at Yeovil with the side placed 13th in the table. JANUARY Scott Malone signed permanently from Wolves, while a number of players who had signed on

loan had made their deals permanent. It was a busy month on the transfer front as Matt Tubbs signed from Crawley and Donal McDermott from Huddersfield. The good form continued in to the New Year with three straight home wins against Wycombe, Notts County and Tranmere, while a late Steve Fletcher goal earned a point at Walsall. A frustrating 1-0 defeat at Chesterfield ended the month, but the Cherries could reflect on a good month’s work as they lay in eighth place. FEBRUARY Tubbs scored on his return to the club as the side beat Exeter at home and then on the Saturday the teamtravelled to Hartlepool. A win would have seen them rise in to the play-off places, but on

a freezing cold day, the Cherries were held to a 0-0 draw. There was no love on Valentine’s Day as Leyton Orient won 2-1 at the Seward Stadium. A long trip to Rochdale ended in a 1-0 defeat, but more worrying was a dreadful injury to Stephen Purches, who suffered a double leg break. MK Dons then found victory at the Seward Stadium as the play-off charge was certainly stuttering. MARCH The month started with the visit of leaders Charlton. It was one of the best performances by the Cherries all season but also one of the most frustrating. Charlton looked to be hanging on for a point, when against the run of play they grabbed a winner in the last minute. A poor start at Shef-

field Wednesday saw the side suffer a fifth successive defeat, but the run was halted when on-loan Derby man Miles Addison scored a late equaliser against Carlisle. A win finally came when Brentford were beaten 1-0 thanks to a splendid Fogden goal, but any hopes of a late surge for the play-offs were extinguished after a controversial 1-0 defeat at Oldham, where the Cherries were denied a stone wall penalty at the end of a game that proved to be Lee Bradbury’s last. Paul Groves and Shaun Brooks stepped in and oversaw a point away at Stevenage, before a stalemate with Yeovil upon their introduction to the Seward Stadium. APRIL A brave second half fight back yielded no reward at Sheffield

United before the Cherries became the first team to complete the double over Huddersfield, as Groves and Brooks enjoyed their first win in charge. After a defeat at Bury, the side then drew at home against Colchester and away at Scunthorpe despite taking the lead in each game. From 23rd place in September, the side will finish the campaign today in a comfortable mid-table position. MAY With all the changes that have happened this season, this can be viewed as adequate progress on the pitch. It is off the field however, that the club continues to grow, and the foundations are laid for what could be a spectacular 2012/13.

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Mid-table finish won’t dent Eddie’s ambition Mitchell previews toughest test yet ALEX SMITH CHAIRMAN Eddie Mitchell believes the upcoming pre-season will be the most important since he joined the club in the summer of 2009. After enjoying promotion in his first term at the Seward Stadium and a near miss in the play-offs 12 months ago, Mitchell admits to being left frustrated by the Cherries mid-table finish. Mitchell has hardly hidden his ambitions of guiding the club to the Championship over the course of the season and recent performances have done little to dampen his determination. “I think it’s going to be the most important pre-season we’ve had since I joined the club. We need to really go for it from day one. It’s no good getting into gear after two or three games, we’ve got to play like we are playing for promotion from the opening day and make sure we keep it up,” he said. “I think this is as hard a league as any to get out of and it’s going to be a big challenge, and we need to be fully focused on it. “This season has been topsy turvy to say the least but, to a degree, we’ve made progress. The things happening off the pitch have been good and we are planning for the long-term, but I would like to think next season will be better than this one. “We will continue to work on and off the pitch because there’s still a long way to go to make this club a Championship club.” While the Cherries are expected to have a quiet summer in the transfer market, the club’s key addition will be the appointment of a new manager. Paul Groves was handed temporary charge in March following the departure of Lee Bradbury and Mitchell is keen to find a resolution in the coming weeks. “We want to resolve it as soon as possible but the circumstances

GOOD TIMES: Charlie Daniels celebrates his first goal for AFC Bournemouth have to be right. I a force to be reckoned with next ter player in to replace him. don’t want to put a season.” “It’s not my decision as to who we deadline on it but we The Cherries managed to keep hold want to bring in but I’m sure that want to have it sorted as of their prized assets in the Janu- there will be players coming in and soon as possible,” he said. ary transfer window and Mitchell going out. Naturally, there will be “Paul and Shaun (Brooks ) have reiterated the club’s desire to retain people leaving they’re out of concome in and steadied the ship and their best players. tract but we’ve got to look to add had a look at the players. They’re Asked for his views on rumours as well.” very single minded and dedicated, linking winger Scott Malone with Mitchell also looked forward to and I think they’re a very good a summer move to Champion- the fixtures with recently relegated team. ship club Millwall, Mitchell said, Portsmouth, and revealed that he “All the Centre of Excellence and “That’s news to me. Scott’s a very hopes to meet another of the Cheryouth team players need to learn a a talented player and we have no ries’ south coast rivals over the certain way of playing and that’s plans to sell him.” course of the campaign. to pass the ball, and that’s what He added, “We want to keep the He said, “I quite like Portsmouth they’ve tried to do with the first majority of our first team squad and the two games against them team. We’ve seen that over the and we’ve got to look at the players will be the highlights of next sealast few weeks but I just think we that are available, but we certainly son without a doubt. I would love need someone to put the ball in the won’t be going backwards. We are to draw Southampton in the cup as net. We can’t just rely on a forward only going to sell when we need to well. They have done well since to do it though but we have it well sell to help us go forward. If we do we played them last season and planned out, and I think we will be lose a player then we will get a bet- I’m sure it would be a good game.”


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Youth Team THE KIDS ARE ALRIGHT MICK Cunningham

Harrison Gilkes: Winger A pacy and tricky winger who impressed in the FA Youth Cup tie against Plymouth when he scored with a cool finish in extra-time. Paul Groves said, “Harrison had a hip operation last summer and has done well to get to the level he’s at. He was in a position where he could only compete for 45 minutes at the start of the season, but he’s improved all the way through.”

Josh Wakefield: Attacker A versatile forward, who has been a regular in the reserves this term, and made his first-team debut away at Scunthorpe last weekend. “Josh is a good all round player and an intelligent footballer. He’s another who can play in a number of positions, and has taken to the work very well,” Groves said.

Ryan Case: Full back A reliable full-back, Case can play on the right or the left, and has been a consistent performer for the youth team this season. “He’s got good attributes for a right-sided defensive player. He’s improved this year, but like everyone else he’s got a lot to learn,” Groves said.

IT has been a highly successful season for the AFC Bournemouth youth system, with the rich pickings of the under-18 side providing four first-yearpros, and every age group exceeding expectations at the clubs successful Centre of Excellence. It was a real coup to sign ex-Portsmouth and West Ham man Paul Groves as youth team manager last summer, and his approach to the system has not only seen the

under-18’s flourish, but also had a knock on effect to all age groups. This season the gauntlet was thrown down to the young players at the club, with none allowed to stay in their comfort zone and all given challenges which they duly rose to. Indeed  by the end of the season, the under-18 side was made up of mainly first years scholars and under-16 players.  The knock on effect is that throughout the system youngsters were playing at higher age groups, pitting there wits against tougher opposi-

YOUNG STARS GIFTED DEALS ALEX Smith

THE Cherries have offered one year professional deals to Ryan Case, Josh Wakefield, Harrison Gilkes and Alex Moth. Following injury hit campaigns Jordan Chiedozie and Clive Makoni are also expected to remain at the Seward Stadium after being offered one year extensions to their youth deals. All six players worked under Paul Groves and Shaun Brooks in the youth team earlier this season, and featured in two FA Youth Cup ties at the Seward Stadium, as well as reserve team fixtures. They will form a development squad, along with youth team players, which aims to bridge the gap between the youth and first team, while also furthering their studies at Bournemouth University. Groves was pleased to be able to offer the youngsters the chance to continue their development at the club. “I think with myself and Shaun working with the players for the majority of the year it was only

right that we had a big say in whether they were given another year,” he said. “We have tried to push the players throughout the year, starting with the youth team in the first half of the season, and then with them going on loan to play men’s football. They’ve furthered that by playing reserve games, and coped well on a number of occasions.” Meanwhile, Billy Maybury, Bradley Strickland, Marco Zocchi, Elliott Ward and Pearce Farren have been released. Groves explained, “We have made a bigger commitment than most clubs in taking on six boys, but unfortunately it is the end for others. It’s always very difficult, but it is part and parcel of football. “We’ve given them the opportunity to play men’s football which is where they will play next year anyway. Hopefully we have given them an education and a grounding which will help them to a start a career elsewhere.” To find out more about next season’s development squad, visit www.afcb.co.uk.

tion and becoming stronger as a result of it. Durning this time, the second year players in the under-18 side were sent out on loan to local Southern League and Wessex League clubs, whilst spending the week training here and having their progress closely monitored.  The youngsters benefitted from playing in men’s football which shone through in their performances for the reserve side and also when called upon by the first team. The four players who were handed

their first professional contracts with the club are a huge testament to the work that has been carried out in improving the youth system. Josh Wakefield made his debut for the first team at Scunthorpe last week and looked assured and comfortable. This season has been one of building, and the Centre of Excellence is one of the finest examples of that. From the youngest age group to the under-18’s, the set-up is providing firm foundations for the future of AFC Bournemouth.

Moth battles Steve Cook in a reserve game this season

Moth ready for senior challenge ALEX Moth caught the eye on the turn of the year as he scored two goals in the reserve team’s dramatic 3-2 win over Torquay. Interim manager Paul Groves said,

“He’s got an excellent work ethic. He’s got a good understanding of how to play as a centre forward for someone of his experience, and he can play in a number of positions.”


STRIKER LONGING FOR NEW SEASON

EDDIE READY FOR CRUCIAL PRE-SEASON Mitchell remains determined...p6

STRIKER Matt Tubbs says he can’t wait for next season after having his campaign cut short by injury. Tubbs made a dream start to his third stint at the club after scoring on his debut in the win over Exeter in February, but missed the last six weeks of the season after undergoing surgery on a groin problem. The 27-year-old has made encouraging progress recently and is targeting a strong pre-season. He said, “I can’t wait for it and I’m probably one of the only professionals in the game that is looking forward to pre-season. “The injury is coming along nicely. I’ve made some more progress this week, and I’ve started striking balls as hard as I can. The last game of the season has come a couple of weeks too soon, it’s frustrating but I have to look forward to next season.” He added, “If Paul (Groves) and Shaun (Brooks) get the job or a new manager comes in then I hope to be part of their plans and start the first game of the season.” Tubbs, who was named in Four Four Two magazine’s top 50 players in the Football League, is also hoping to see his former team Crawley, and on loan Cherries team mate Warren Cummings, seal promotion to League One. He said, “I’m dying for them to go up. I speak to all the lads at Crawley still and I would love to go ” back and play there next season.

Profile for AFC Bournemouth

Cherries Season Review 2011/12  

A look back on all the highs and lows at the Seward Stadium after an eventful campaign. For all the latest news visit afcb.co.uk.

Cherries Season Review 2011/12  

A look back on all the highs and lows at the Seward Stadium after an eventful campaign. For all the latest news visit afcb.co.uk.

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