Everton Vs Bournemouth – League One Season Preview 2006/07 – AFC Bournemouth

AFC Bournemouth

Odds: 66/1

Last Five Seasons

2005/06 – 17 (League One), 2004/05 – 8 (League One), 2003/04 – 9 (League One), 2002/03 – 4 (League Two, Promoted), 2001/02 – 21 (League One, Relegated).

2005/06 Cup Progress

FA Cup First Round vs Tamworth (h) – lost 2-1.

Carling Cup Second Round vs Wigan Athletic (a) – lost 1-0.

Football League Trophy Southern Section Second Round vs Walsall (a) – lost 1-0.

Top Goal Scorer 2005/06: James Hayter (striker) – 20 goals.

Players In

Danny Hollands (Chelsea – Free), Conal Platt (Liverpool – Free), Tariq Khalil (Cardiff City – Free), Daryl Taylor (Walsall – Free).

Players Out

James O’Connor (Doncaster Rovers – £130,000), Adam Griffiths (Brentford – Free), Kirk Hudson (Aldershot – Free), Jamie Whisken (Salisbury – Free), Dani Rodrigues (Released), James Rowe (Released), Jason Tindall (Released).

After a couple of seasons as a solid top 10 outfit, Bournemouth flirted with possible relegation last term as they finished five points and four places above the bottom four. Another testing campaign looks to be in store for the coastal club following the departure of defender James O’Connor to Doncaster Rovers and depending on whether top goalscorer James Hayter remains at the club.

Manager Sean O’Driscoll has drafted in a few young players to boost the ranks, namely former Chelsea reserve and youth team captain Danny Hollands. The 20 year old made 10 appearances on loan for Torquay United earlier this year and signed a two year contract. Liverpool striker Conal Platt, Cardiff City midfielder Tareq Khalil and Walsall’s Daryl Taylor are also looking for an opportunity to shine at the Fitness First Stadium.

O’Driscoll will also welcome the news that defender Karl Broadhurst signed a new one year contract. He has made almost 200 appearances for the club and was the last of O’Driscoll’s out of contract players to re-sign. Broadhurst was club captain for much of the 2004/05 season but a back injury kept him on the sidelines for 12 months. He returned in February this year and made seven appearances as the season reached its conclusion.

Veteran striker Steve Fletcher has also signed a new one year contract to enter his fifteenth season as a Cherries player. He is now the club’s longest serving player following his switch from Hartlepool United in 1992 and has made over 500 appearances for the club.

O’Driscoll has taken several players on trial over the summer including former Everton striker Paul Hopkins, Luton Town striker Luke Maitlan, Ipswich Town defender Jack Haverson and Tooting & Mitcham left-back Craig Tanner.

Verdict

Bournemouth is a club that likes to give youth a chance and the youngsters will have to grow up quickly in order to stave off relegation this season. A lower mid table finish is the expected result.

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