This is an article I did during the close season highlighting one club that we’d be facing this season. With Leeds travelling to Bournemouth this evening, here’s a pre-preview preview for everyone to enjoy!
AFC Bournemouth traces it’s routes back to the 1890’s under local clubs, Boscombe St.Johns Institute Football Club and later Boscombe F.C., who competed in the Bournemouth and District Junior league. It was Boscombe F.C. who employed the first professional player for the club commanding a sky-high fee of £10.
“Bournemouth” was not included in the title of the club until 1923 when a meeting declared that Boscombe F.C. was to become ‘Bournemouth and Boscombe Athletic Football Club,’ a name that not only was the longest ever to hit English football, but was to stick until 1971 when the modern day AFC Bournemouth persona was adopted.
The first silverware that made it’s way to Bournemouth however was under the old name as Bournemouth and Boscombe Athletic picked up the Third Division (South) cup, defeating Walsall at current home of Roman Abramovich’s overpaid, over hyped stars, Stamford Bridge, post-war.
The name change to AFC Bournemouth also brought about a slump in form, as heroes Ted MacDougall started an exodus from the club, leaving it relegation bound in 1975 to the fourth division where the club stayed for a considerable period of time.
It was Bournemouth where one Harry Redknapp started his reputation as a manager that knew a bargain when he saw one. It was Redknapp’s ‘wheeler-dealer’ style that saw the club strengthen to become Division 3 Champions in 1987, and continued to challenge the higher echelons of league football until the club was relegated again in 1990.
The 90’s saw Harry Redknapp “retire,” though as we all know he soon popped up in the football world once again, now in charge of Premiership retirement home Portsmouth. Harry’s replacement was to be Tony Pulis, who had left the club by the 94-95 season with Bournemouth in serious financial trouble.
Bournemouth saw administration come in 1997 following a number of seasons suffering some mediocre performances. It was the administration of the club that prompted the first ever community owned club in Europe, and the next season saw The Cherries just miss out on the playoffs and reach a Wembley final in the Auto Windscreens Shield (now the Johnston’s Paint Trophy.)
The new millennium saw a new start for Bournemouth as the club redeveloped it’s stadium, temporarily moving to Dorchester’s Avenue Stadium whilst their pitch was turned through 90 degrees and the stands redeveloped. Relegation then followed as a disappointing end to the first few weeks in the Fitness First Stadium. Bournemouth returned to League One following a 5-2 thumping of Lincoln City at the Millennium Stadium, the club now holding the record for most goals scored in one game at Cardiff’s’ new home of football (and rugby!)
AFC Bournemouth survived last season courtesy of a 1-1 draw against Gillingham in the last home game of the season and will now face Leeds in the 2007/08 League One season.
So far this season however it is has been a poor season yet again for the Cherries, notching up just 3 wins so far though having defeated Bristol Rovers on Saturday, will be high on confidence as Leeds United visit on Tuesday evening. It is the first time that Leeds have visited Bournemouth since May 1990, where mindless thugs, apparently branded as “supporters” rioted over an entire weekend, causing considerable damage estimated to have cost £1million to put right.
Notable Squad Members
At the end of last season, continuing financial issues left the club with just 9 first team players, however Bournemouth have since strengthened with the addition of Brentford front-man Jo Kuffor with the player rejecting the likes of Swindon, Bristol and Preston in order to move to The Fitness First Stadium.
Naturally, the biggest name in the AFC Bournemouth squad list (like Leeds, what’s left of it) has to be former England International Darren Anderton. “Sicknote” joined The Cherries in 2006 following his release from Wolverhampton Wanderers on a “pay-as-you-play” basis and looks set to continue being an inspiration for the club in the coming season.
Another geriatric member of their squad is Paul Telfer. The Scottish International (well he played once) has actually come out of retirement to play for Bournemouth this season and is their vice-captain.
The Town Of Bournemouth
Bournemouth is the largest town in the mighty county that is “ceremonially speaking” Dorset, although historically speaking it is in Hampshire. Originally the area around “Bourne Mouth” was a landing ground for smugglers bringing in their tobacco, spirits and most horrifically…tea!
When not watching Bournemouth, Leeds United fans can go off and visit the Russell-Cotes Museum, which is located near to the Pavilion Theatre. The museum contains many a 19th century artwork and family collections from their worldwide travel. Alternatively you can head for the night scene, with many a nightclub ditching the town’s reputation of being “God’s waiting room.”
Did you know?
1.) Bournemouth’s airport is home to the central college that trains the United Kingdom’s Air Traffic Controllers.
2.) There are no motorways in the entire county of Dorset.
3.) “Bournemouth University,” is not actually in Bournemouth, but in Poole, which is now also home to the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra.
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