5:58pm Monday 4th March 2013
By Ian Wadley
CHARLIE Sheringham is tomorrow expected to make his long-awaited return to competitive football after more than a year on the sidelines.
Development coach Chris Hargreaves confirmed that the Cherries striker was in line to make his comeback in the club's Hampshire Senior Cup semi-final clash at AFC Totton.
Sheringham, out since fracturing a bone in his foot during Cherries' 1-1 draw with Brentford on Boxing Day 2011, could start in the Testwood Stadium fixture (7.45pm).
The 24-year-old frontman sustained the injury shortly after opening the scoring for Cherries at Griffin Park with his maiden Football League goal following his move from the non-league ranks.
Son of former England star Teddy, Sheringham was forced to overcome a series of setbacks during a painstaking quest for fitness.
Having recently returned to training, he is now poised to step up his comeback bid by appearing against Steve Riley's Southern Premier outfit.
Veteran goalkeeper Darryl Flahavan is also likely to be named in the Cherries team after recovering from shoulder surgery.
Flahavan, who sustained the damage during pre-season, will be the most experienced player in a largely youthful Cherries line-up.
Coach Hargreaves offered an insight into how long-term absentees Sheringham and Flahavan will be feeling.
The former Plymouth, Northampton and Torquay star told the Daily Echo: “You are just champing at the bit to get back on the field of play.
“You see the other lads playing and training every day and just desperately want to get in to help.
“For those two boys in particular, it is just a matter of playing football again and having that match situation because that is what they are missing.
“They can train for hours and weeks on end but a game is totally different.”
Aside from Sheringham and Flahavan, Cherries look set to name a team made up predominantly of development squad players.
Hargreaves added: “It is probably the biggest game that some of the young boys will have played in.
“It is not a concern for Flavs and Charlie but I am sure they would prefer to have the game meaning something so it is a good game for them to come back. It will be a good tempo and a good test.”
Meanwhile, Benji Buchel, the penalty shoot-out hero of Cherries' Hampshire Senior Cup quarter-final win over Eastleigh, was carried off on a stretcher after suffering a knee injury while playing for loan club Dorchester Town on Saturday.
Dorchester boss Phil Simkin reported that the keeper had returned to Dean Court to be assessed.
© Copyright 2001-2013 Newsquest Media Group