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Cherries: Connell promises Dean Court supporters - Ritchie is a treat
ALAN Connell has hailed Cherries’ Matt Ritchie coup as “the best signing outside of the top two divisions” and says the Dean Court faithful are in for a treat.
Striker Connell, a popular figure during two spells with Cherries, played alongside Ritchie as the pair helped Swindon romp to the League Two title last season.
Close pals during their time at the County Ground, Connell was one of the first to congratulate Ritchie after his move had been sealed on Wednesday.
Connell has just returned from a training camp on Tenerife ahead of Bradford City’s League Cup final at Wembley against Swansea later this month.
He told the Daily Echo: “It is a massive statement from Bournemouth to sign a player from a promotion rival. Maybe they have taken advantage of Swindon’s financial predicament and it is probably a good deal for all parties.
“Matty set up a lot of my goals last season and his delivery is excellent. As a striker, it is a dream to attack the right areas to try to get on the end of his crosses. We used to say his delivery was Premier League class. The standard of his corners, set-pieces and crosses are outstanding.
“But he has got so much more to his game. Not only does he score great goals, he scores a lot of goals for a winger, he creates goals as well and is a constant danger.
“The biggest compliment I can pay him is that, even if he is hav ing a bad game, he always wants the ball. He is always willing to help the team by using his qualities whether he is having a good day or a bad one.
“You know there is always going to be a moment when he can produce something to win you a game.
“Sometimes, the manager would leave him on when he wasn’t playing particularly well and he would either produce a match- winning cross or pop a 30-yarder in the top corner.
“He works extremely hard and is a really good player with a really good attitude. I think he will do extremely well at Bournemouth and make their great squad even stronger.”
Connell added: “I think the supporters will love him. For a start, he is fairly local and they always warm to local lads.
“By signing for Bournemouth, he has shown he really wants to play for them because he has had a lot of clubs interested in him for a long time. I know playing for Eddie Howe was a big part in his decision.
“The fans will love the fact that he always gives 100 per cent because I know they respect you for that. In some ways, he is similar to Brett Pitman and can produce a moment of brilliance out of nothing to win you a tight game.
"Matt is capable of sticking the ball in the top corner from 30 yards and I think he did that against Bournemouth earlier this season.
“They have got themselves a fantastic player and I am sure he will prove to be a great signing.”