FORMER Dean Court hero Jason Pearce is backing Cherries’ Championship bid and has urged the class of 2013: Take your chance.
Pearce – the fifth and most recent of Cherries’ promotion-winning captains – is adamant another name can be added to the roll of honour this season.
The inspirational centre-half led by example when Cherries fought their way out of the basement division under Eddie Howe in 2010.
Pearce, now with Leeds United, also came close to skippering back-to-back promotions during Cherries’ play-off defeat the following season.
The 25-year-old says he has been delighted to follow from afar Cherries’ League One rise since his old boss returned to Dorset.
And the former Micky Cave-Daily Echo supporters’ player of the year has told Cherries’ current crop not to miss their opportunity.
Asked about the memorable 2009-10 campaign, Pearce told the Daily Echo: “I can remember it clearly. I have still got all the pictures and the medal.
“It was a massively proud moment in my career. Sometimes, people have a long career and they might not achieve promotion.
“You have got to grab it with both hands and just go for it.
“There is a team there with players and individuals that give their all every game and I think that is all you can expect.
“They have got match-winners in Marc Pugh, Brett Pitman and Lewis Grabban and I think they look solid at the back as well.
“They have got a good team so if they just keep their feet on the ground, then I am sure they can do it.”
Ahead of facing Sheffield United this afternoon (3pm), Cherries sit in second position after a run of just two defeats in 22 league games under Howe.
Speaking from his experience of working with Howe, Pearce believes there is no danger of Cherries losing focus.
He said: “From an outsider, I fancy them to go up 100 per cent.
“As a player, I have been in that position in League Two and you have to take each game as it comes, prepare right and not get complacent.
“That is the worst thing – when you get complacent and you take things for granted and then you do slip up.
“If he sees any complacency in training or anything like that, he makes sure he nips it in the bud straight away.
“You train the way you need to play and if people are slacking in training, he will make sure you know about it.
“He will definitely keep everyone’s feet on the ground.”
Pearce added: “At the start of the season, I said to a few of my mates that I thought Bournemouth would get promoted. A few months into the season, they were quite low in the league and I was quite surprised with the squad they have there.
“Since Ed’s gone in there, he has really turned it round and got that feelgood factor. I am delighted to see them doing so well.”