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AFC Bournemouth: Former boot boy Grabban hopes to win day over Freedman
CHERRIES star Lewis Grabban credited Dougie Freedman with helping him cut his footballing teeth – but then eyed the chance to bite the hand that once fed him.
Grabban will know all about the manager in the opposition dugout when Bolton visit Dean Court tomorrow (3pm) – having been his boot boy at Crystal Palace.
Striker Grabban was learning the ropes in the Eagles youth system when fellow frontman Freedman was one of the leading players at Selhurst Park.
The attacking duo briefly featured together for Palace and Grabban revealed Freedman had taught him a lot during their time at the London club.
And having profited from the experience of playing alongside Eagles’ master marksman, Grabban is now aiming to continue his flying form when he locks horns with Freedman’s Wanderers.
The 25-year-old told the Daily Echo: “When I was a first-year scholar, I was actually his boot boy, so I know Dougie well. When I finally got into the first team, I played with him and I trained a lot with him.
“Dougie was one of the best strikers there and he played a similar role to the one I am at the moment, in the hole, and he was a good player for Crystal Palace. He was a long-serving player and had a good career.
“When I was coming up, he always gave me advice and took me aside and helped me with my movement. He also used to take certain finishing sessions and he was always good with the strikers and young lads, so he always had a positive effect on my career.”
Asked if that could come back to haunt Freedman tomorrow, Grabban replied: “You never know. Hopefully, for us, I will be able to do some of the things he told me when I was young.”
Bolton, tipped as lively promotion contenders ahead of the season, have endured a difficult opening to the campaign with 10 points from 13 league games.
Cherries have enjoyed a promising return to the second tier – helped largely by Grabban’s seven goals in 13 Championship appearances so far.
Grabban, who has netted 20 goals in 60 games for Cherries, added: “There are some areas where I could have done better – maybe by getting a couple more goals – but I am pleased overall.
“When I looked back at last season, I felt I could have scored more goals and this season was just about trying to be more clinical.”
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