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Cherries: Hargreaves urges youngsters to build on cup success
CHRIS Hargreaves plotted Cherries’ path to the final of the Hampshire Senior Cup and then warned the Dean Court young guns: “The hard work is still ahead.”
Development squad coach Hargreaves saw Cherries edge past Southern League outfit AFC Totton following a tense penalty shootout at Testwood Stadium on Tuesday.
Goalkeeper Darryl Flahavan marked his comeback from a seven-month injury layoff by saving two spot-kicks as Cherries triumphed 4-2 – with the tie having been deadlocked at 1-1 after extra-time.
And while victory set up a final date with Wessex Premier leaders Alresford Town at Dean Court on April 22, Hargreaves knows a bigger prize could await for some of the young players.
Cherries’ second-year apprentices and first-year professionals will discover over the next few months whether they are likely to be rewarded with contracts for next season.
Hargreaves told the Daily Echo: “That is something I am very aware of and I want to do the best by the boys. Some won’t make it and I can’t do anything about that. Some will and I will be absolutely delighted for them.
“If I could give them all a contract tomorrow, I would. But football is a pretty ruthless industry and you just try to do your best for them. How ever their careers map out, you hope you have helped them on the way, both as a man and as a player, to give them a path into professional football. Hopefully, that will be for Bournemouth and we can be successful through that. It is going to be a testing few months for the lads.
“I don’t want them to make the same mistakes that I did and I tell them that every day so they are probably bored of hearing it!
“I have got a lad playing football now and I treat these boys like I do my own. They are someone else’s boys and you have got to do right by them. There is still a lot of hard work to be done to earn contracts but this final will give them something to look forward to.”
Aristide Bassele, one of Cherries’ stand-out performers, forced the tie into extra-time when he headed home a Harrison Gilkes free-kick to cancel out Luke Roberts’s 80th-minute opener for the Stags.
And although Totton had the better of the chances, they were left to rue seeing Flahavan save penalties from Jack Odam and Richard Gillespie in the shootout. Cherries, who had won their quarter-final on penalties, saw Baily Cargill, Ryan Case, Josh Wakefield and Gilkes all net confidently, while Charlie Sheringham had a 45-minute run-out in the first half following his 14-month injury absence.
“They showed good spirit and I was delighted for them,” added Hargreaves. “It wasn’t the greatest of games but they have showed great character to come through a second lot of extra-time and penalties.”
Cherries: Flahavan, Blackmore, Case, Turner, Cargill, Wakefield, Bassele, Carmichael (Bajandouh, h-t), Goodship, Sheringham (Moth, h-t), Gilkes. Unused subs: Kaye, Harris, Tierney (g/k).