HAVING beaten the odds to play football again, helping Cherries stamp their Championship dream ticket should be a breeze for Dan Seaborne.
Just 16 months ago, Seaborne was laid up in Southampton General Hospital having been the victim of a brutal attack outside a nightclub in the city. Serious and, at the time, potentially life-threatening head injuries had left his career in the balance.
Fast forward to January 24 2013 and Seaborne is sitting in the Dean Court press room, a picture of health that makes a mockery of the ordeal he suffered in September 2011.
“I feel as close to the level I was at in 2011 as I have done since recovering from what happened,” said Seaborne.
“I feel I am back on it, but there was a very real fear that I wouldn’t play again. The doctors said there was only a slim chance of me playing any football again, let alone professional football.
“But I never really had any doubts myself. I just had to get through that period and see where I ended up and, thankfully, I have ended up in a great place.
“I had never been one to take things for granted anyway, but what happened did make me thankful for the people that I have around me. It was a tough period in my life, but it made me even more mentally strong and determined.”
The 25-year-old made good progress while his Southampton team-mates coasted to Premier League promotion and was back on the training pitch in July as Nigel Adkins’s side prepared for life back in the top-flight.
Seaborne returned to first-team action for Saints’ three Capital One Cup clashes, but was overlooked for a league start as Adkins opted for Jos Hooiveld and Jose Fonte in central defence.
A loan spell at Charlton followed in November and December, before Seaborne made the switch to Dean Court on Thursday. The ink on his loan agreement, which expires at the end of the season, was still wet when Adkins was sacked less than 24 hours later.
“It was a little bit weird seeing the manager go like that,” added Seaborne. “But my focus at the moment is solely on Bournemouth so that is out of my mind.
“I had a really good time at Charlton, but I am a Southampton player until the end of the season and then there are a couple of things in my contract that need to be sorted out. There is an option for another year so I have to see what happens with that, but I’m going to really enjoy my time here and help push Bournemouth up the league. I’ll do that and then take it from there.
“I will have contact with people at Southampton and that has always been the case throughout my loan spells. But the main focus is on being here – we’ve managed to get into sixth spot and we want to push on.”
Seaborne made his Cherries debut in Tuesday night’s 2-1 win at Hartlepool, as Eddie Howe’s men edged themselves into the play-off picture for the first time this season. He is likely to keep his place when Crewe roll into Dorset on Saturday.
“It feels really good to be here and we got the win on Tuesday night which was a great starting point for us to push on going into this weekend,” said Seaborne.
“Once I had come here and met everyone, I wanted to sort out the loan. It was great to get it done and play on Tuesday night.
“I came down without having signed and took a look around. It’s really similar to Southampton in terms of the set-up and it was all positive, so that’s why I signed so quickly.
“I have played against Eddie Howe’s teams a number of times and he has always set his sides up well technically and I have got a great vibe from him.
“He is a really intellectual guy and has great people around him so I am looking forward to playing for him.”