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AFC Bournemouth: Spetch keeps the stars quiet in trial match
WILL Spetch admitted sharing a stage with a host of internationals had heightened his desire to join the professional ranks.
Portsmouth supporter Spetch – invited to spend a second week training with Cherries – realised a boyhood ambition when he came up against ex-Fratton Park favourite Niko Kranjcar.
The gifted midfielder, capped 81 times by Croatia, was one of no fewer than six internationals on duty for the Londoners at their Harlington training ground.
Spetch helped Cherries keep a lid on ex-England man Shaun Wright-Phillips, who was once the subject of a £21million transfer from Manchester City to Chelsea.
The Rangers team also included Armand Traore (Senegal), Luke Young (England), Samba Diakite (Mali) and Javier Chevanton (Uruguay), while Ian Harte (Republic of Ireland) and Josh McQuoid (Northern Ireland) lined up for Cherries.
Spetch, who played the full 90 minutes, told the Daily Echo: “It was a great experience and, if nothing comes of my football career, at least one day I can tell my kids that I played with and against those players.
“To be honest, I didn’t see the team-sheet until after the game and didn’t realise they had six internationals playing. I recognised Shaun Wright-Phillips and knew Niko Kranjcar because I used to watch him when he played for Pompey. My dad had told me about Ian Harte and he is a quality player.
“The game was totally different to what I am used to. It was a lot quicker but I felt I adapted quite well. You want to shine when you are up against better players and, every time Wright-Phillips got the ball, I was tight to him and tried to force him into making mistakes.
“Now I have had a taste, I am hungrier for more. It is a case of taking slow steps and I have just got to keep doing what I am doing. I need to train hard when I come in and try my best when I am given the opportunity to play.
“I am getting fitter and more confident and just being around these players is making me a better player. I feel I am in a no-lose situation because spending time training with clubs is only going to benefit me in the long run. If nothing comes of it now, I might get spotted by someone else in the future.”
Spetch, who spent last week with Cherries’ Championship rivals Huddersfield, could link up with AFC Wimbledon next week after training with Stephen Purches’s development squad on Thursday and Friday.
Frontman McQuoid and goalkeeper Benji Buchel were both given their first 90-minute run-outs since recovering from injury, while loan signing Nico Yennaris from Arsenal also featured for Cherries. Trialist Danny Morrissey, a 19-year-old striker from Cork City, netted the only goal.
Cherries: Buchel, Yennaris, Partington, Spetch, Harte, McQuoid, Addison, Losasso, Cornick, Thomas, Morrissey. Unused subs: McCarthy, Harris, Walsh, Buckley, Collins (g/k).
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